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    11 Important IRS Inflation Adjustments & Tax Rates for 2022

    posted in Retirement Planning Jan 18, 2022


    In November 2021, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) announced new tax rate schedules, annual inflation adjustments for more than 60 tax provisions, and other key tax changes. The update to the Internal Revenue Code, 26 CFR 601.602: Tax Forms and instructions, includes all detailed changes in Revenue Procedure 2021-45.

    These tax code changes are effective for tax year 2022, so taxpayers will see them reflected when they file starting in 2023.

    Here’s a brief summary of the tax changes that will likely have an impact on many U.S. taxpayers.

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    Addressing Retirement Shortfalls Among Diverse Investors

    posted in Retirement Planning Dec 7, 2021


    Picture in your mind the average client who walks through your door on a given day. Is it a man or a woman? A business owner or blue collar worker? Are they a person of color or a certain ethnic group?

    If you’re like most financial advisors, you likely envision your “average” client as a white male. At least, that’s what a recent survey suggests. A CNBC poll found that only 58% of Black men and 62% of Hispanic men have investment assets of any kind compared to 77% of white men. When parsing out genders, the gap widens; only 41% of Black women and 52% of Hispanic women say they have invested in anything at all.1 

    The investment gap is also evident when looking at those with established retirement accounts. About half as many Black men and women own a retirement account as white men — approximately one in three Black men (33%) and Black women (32%) compared to 63% of white men.1

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    Get to Know the 5 Types of Retirees

    posted in Retirement Planning Nov 30, 2021


    There’s an image of retirement that is often portrayed in financial firm brochures and promotional materials. It typically shows a smiling couple enjoying their morning coffee on the back porch followed by a round of golf in the afternoon, or perhaps a second home in a warmer climate or vacations with friends. 

    The reality, however, is that many older Americans struggle financially after retirement.

    The Employee Benefit Research Institute’s Retirement Security Research Center recently surveyed 2,000 households with retirees aged 62 to 75 who had less than $1 million in financial assets. The study helps to develop retiree profiles based on their income, financial assets, debt and home ownership. 

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    Advisors: Make the Most of National Retirement Security Week, October 17-23

    posted in Client Relationships, Retirement Planning Oct 19, 2021

    The shorter, cooler days of October welcome personal reflections on abundance and the changing of seasons. Maybe that’s what makes the month an ideal time for National Retirement Security Week, when Americans are encouraged to reflect on their individual retirement goals and explore whether they’re on track to achieve them.

    First established in 2006 by a Senate resolution and called “National Save for Retirement Week,”1 National Retirement Security Week offers an opportunity for advisors to amplify messages and increase public understanding of the importance of saving early and preparing in advance for retirement.

    With that in mind, here are five facts you can reflect on that offer insights into clients’ needs when it comes to saving and planning for retirement — and which you can use as conversation starters to help get clients thinking about saving, investing and planning for the retirement they envision.

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    Widowhood: Helping Your Clients Navigate a New Reality

    posted in Client Relationships, Retirement Planning Oct 5, 2021


    The heartbreak of becoming a widow is often amplified by the uncertainty over having to face the rest of life without a partner by one’s side. Suddenly, the goals, ambitions and dreams for two people no longer seem relevant, and the burden of making decisions about the future rests solely on an individual who may not be ready for a new reality.

    Older women over age 75 are more than twice as likely to become a widow than older men (58% vs. 28%) and may face many years on their own.1 In the wake of becoming a widow, they may need assistance, especially if their spouse handled paying bills and managing their finances. 

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    What Clients Need to Know About Guaranteed Lifetime Withdrawal Benefits

    posted in Retirement Planning Sep 14, 2021

    For retirees, the fear of losing any portion of their retirement savings is very real. Everyone in the market would love a guarantee on their return. Unfortunately, there are few guarantees when it comes to investing, especially when factoring in market turbulence, a fluctuating economy and meager interest rates. 

    Annuities with a guaranteed lifetime withdrawal benefit (GLWB) rider can be appealing to clients approaching retirement because, as the name implies, the rider insures the investment and minimizes risk.

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    Be Sure to Address Significant Age Gaps in Retirement Planning for Couples

    posted in Retirement Planning Aug 31, 2021


    Even at its simplest, planning for retirement can be complicated by uncertainties. Planning for married couples only increases that complexity— and a significant age difference between spouses can make retirement decisions even more fraught for some couples.

    In general, people marry someone close in age. In fact, on average, the age gap between spouses in the U.S. is just 2.2 years.1 But it’s important to remember that averages are not a reflection of reality for many people. Plenty of married couples have a larger age gap between spouses.

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    Pandemic Fallout — Americans Delay or Cancel Retirement

    posted in Client Relationships, Retirement Planning Aug 3, 2021


    In addition to the pandemic’s impact on people’s health and emotional wellbeing, COVID-19 has taken a major toll on many Americans’ finances. As a result, you may have gotten some surprising calls from clients or discovered concerning developments when checking in with them.

    After seeing record unemployment and an economy that came to a virtual standstill, many U.S. adults were forced to shift their retirement goals as a result of the financial impact. In fact, almost one in five (19%) indicate they’ve been forced to delay retirement or not retire at all.1

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    For the Third Year Running, CUNA Mutual Group Annuities Recognized Among the Best

    posted in Retirement Planning, News & Press Jul 26, 2021

    A top U.S. weekly financial magazine has for the third year in a row recognized multiple annuity products from CUNA Mutual Group for its annual list of the best annuities available to investors, across numerous product categories. (Wondering which annuities made the lists in previous years? See our 2019 and 2020 announcements.)

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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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