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    5 Questions to Ask Investors in a Post-Pandemic World

    posted in Retirement Planning Jun 14, 2022


    It’s debatable whether or when we’ll actually arrive in a truly post-pandemic world, yet many are hopeful that there is light at the end of the tunnel. But will things return to “normal?”

    The pandemic brought unprecedented changes and disruption that will leave a lasting mark, and ongoing market volatility and global uncertainty will likely continue to impact investors for the foreseeable future. A new normal for your clients may also include new personal goals that require a different approach to their financial strategies.

    Now is an opportune time to help clients identify any new priorities in life and assess their retirement goals to ensure they align.

    Here are five questions to help you start the conversation with clients.

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    June is National Annuity Awareness Month

    posted in Retirement Planning Jun 7, 2022


    June is National Annuity Awareness Month, and it’s a great time to introduce and discuss the overall benefits of annuities with your clients.

    Guaranteed income conversations take on added importance when discussing confidence among retirees regarding their savings. Given the tumultuous nature of the market the last two years and the uncertainty that lies ahead, many more of your clients may be interested in exploring risk control options with you.

    But before we get into how annuities can benefit retirees, let’s look at what a recent survey found regarding confidence in retirement.

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    Older Workers and the Great Resignation

    posted in Retirement Planning May 31, 2022


    It’s all over the news — what’s being touted as “the Great Resignation,” consisting of a high number of workers who, likely triggered by the pandemic and what it uncovered in work life and life in general, have decided to move on from their current jobs to greener pastures.

    People have been leaving their employers since the dawn of time, but the rate at which people are resigning now has been making headlines. While just about every demographic is represented in some way, it’s by and large younger workers who are leaving their jobs during this exodus.1 

    So, what about older workers? You won’t find quite the same numbers of people from that demographic partaking in the Great Resignation. What’s different, and why aren’t they leaving in droves like their younger counterparts? Here, we explore some of the stats and how advisors can approach the topic with their older clients.

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    Actions Advisors and Investors Can Take During a Volatile Market

    posted in Retirement Planning May 24, 2022


    The greatest growth is often realized from the greatest challenges — some of them quite painful. A personal trainer doesn’t build muscle mass by kicking back comfortably in front of the TV with their feet up, drink in hand. So it goes for anything in life — sometimes on the path toward gains, things may get tough.

    With market volatility often making headlines these days, investors might be wondering what could be their best course of action: how can they actually grow their wealth amid such turmoil? While investors are generally wise to avoid major knee-jerk reactions like selling all their stocks, some use the market downturn to retool their strategies and investments and set themselves up for sturdier times ahead.

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    3 Ways to Help Clients Cover Healthcare Costs in Retirement

    posted in Retirement Planning May 17, 2022


    Retirees may experience some sticker shock when it comes to healthcare costs. It’s easy to see why when, according to 2021 data, a 65-year-old couple would need to have saved a combined $301,000 ($142,000 for the man and $159,000 for the woman) to have a 90 percent chance of covering certain medical expenses. That’s a nine percent increase in just one year, up from 2020.What’s more, these numbers don’t even include expenses that Medicare doesn’t cover, such as dental, vision, over-the-counter medications and long-term care.

    As people age, physical health becomes a primary concern. Worries about potential illness and lack of mobility may be top of mind, but the associated price tags for care only add to the unease.

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    Talking With Clients in Different Phases of Life

    posted in Retirement Planning Apr 5, 2022


    As we age, it’s easier to reflect back on the phases of life and better appreciate the role each phase played in shaping us. Those awkward teen years, followed by the aspirational and challenging young adulthood. Then a fulfilling career, maybe a family and even a dream home, if we’re fortunate. It can feel like a rollercoaster ride, and then…

    Just like that, retirement appears on the horizon and we wonder where the time went!

    Life involves a series of financial phases, too, and it’s important to encourage your clients to take an active role in their financial decisions during each stage to help ensure fiscal stability and a positive overall experience with their lives. 

    Here are some tips on how to start the conversation with clients and help guide their awareness of the importance of each of these financial phases.

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    How Financial Advisors Can Respond to Rising Real Estate Demand

    posted in Retirement Planning Mar 22, 2022


    A real estate boom has swept across the nation since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. Perhaps it’s because families were stuck at home staring at the same four walls for months, stirring an urge to upgrade. Some remote workers may have realized they no longer need a short commute, opening up the possibilities of living across town or across the country. 

    No matter what brought on the urge to purchase a home, historically low mortgage rates likely helped make the decision a little easier. How low? In 2021, a 30-year fixed mortgage rate hovered around 3% for most of the year, a stark contrast to a few years earlier in 2018 when they reached nearly 5%. Of course, that’s still a bargain compared to the not-so-distant past. Many of your clients likely recall when mortgage rates topped 8.5% entering the new millennium, and the staggering peak of more than 18% in the early 1980s.1

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    How Entitled Children Can Jeopardize Their Parents’ Retirement

    posted in Retirement Planning Mar 15, 2022


    When meeting with clients to discuss their risk tolerances and explore potential “what-if” scenarios, you’ll likely uncover many concerns. Typical worries about the volatile market, when to claim Social Security benefits and the pandemic will almost certainly arise.

    What rarely gets brought up, however, is how a couple’s children could jeopardize their financial future. This can be a touchy subject with many variables and emotional weight, making it a potentially uncomfortable discussion. But as a plausible scenario, it’s worth exploring.

    When parents don’t set financial boundaries with their children, the resulting relational volatility may be a greater threat to retirement than other, external factors. Not sure how to bring up the topic or what signs to look for? Use these insights and tips.

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    4 Myths About Social Security to Clear Up With Financial Clients

    posted in Retirement Planning Feb 8, 2022


    Financial matters, especially those involving complex government programs, can be challenging for many people to grasp. Social Security in particular might come with a lot of predetermined notions that could vary in accuracy. The role of a financial advisor can be crucial in helping clients understand the ins and outs of these important benefits.

    Social Security was established in 1935 to help with financial challenges seniors were facing.1 The program’s longevity has made “getting Social Security” a foregone conclusion for most retirees. Many retirees depend on all or part of the monthly payment — averaging $1,555 in 2021 — to cover at least some living expenses.2 

    By debunking four common myths about Social Security with accurate information, you can help your clients better understand Social Security for the valuable retirement asset it is — and how to leverage it to their advantage.

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    Help Clients Avoid Taking Social Security Too Early

    posted in Retirement Planning Jan 25, 2022


    Retirement should be a time when your clients glide into the most peaceful and satisfying years of their lives. A time when finances aren’t so critical, and decisions are carefree.

    However, things have changed, and some trends have reshaped our traditional view of retirement.

    One factor you may have heard discussed by some retirees is “Social Security regret.” This describes a situation when retirees feel like they made a mistake in their decision to claim their Social Security benefit. Many individuals feel they began receiving benefits too soon.

    It’s hard to overstate the importance of discussing Social Security years before retirement, to allow ample consideration before making the decision about when to claim. Here are a few ways you can help your clients avoid taking Social Security too early.

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