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Advisor News Insight

A man’s worth is no greater than his ambitions.




Industry News


Estate Planning


How Democrats Want to Tax the Rich


Democrats are leading the 2020 presidential campaign with a slew of tax-the-rich proposals, representing a tone change revealing a party moving to the left. The plans emerge as a bevy of Democratic contenders are trying to catch fire in a party that is unified in its hopes of defeating Trump next year. They are looking to ride a wave that reclaimed the House of Representatives for the party last November, and swept many unabashed progressives into office.


This article was written by Marie Patino, Intern at Bloomburg Graphics and Laura Davison, Reporter for Bloomberg.


The American Housing and Economic Mobility Act of 2019


The American Housing and Economic Mobility Act of 2019, introduced by Elizabeth Warren, a Massachusetts Democrat, would raise estate tax rates to pay for housing reform.


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Health Care Planning


Retirement Care Realities For Middle Income Boomers


In this study, A Growing Urgency: Retirement Care Realities for Middle-Income Boomers, the Bankers Life Center for a Secure Retirement seeks to understand how prepared middle-income Boomers are for the possibility of needing care in their retirement—their changing expectations, insufficient preparation activity and dangerous misconceptions.


The study was prepared by the Bankers Life Center for a Secure Retirement.


Who Decides When a Patient Can’t? Statutes on Alternate Decision Makers


Many patients cannot make their own medical decisions, having lost what is called decisional capacity. The estimated prevalence of decisional incapacity approaches 40% among adult medical inpatients and residential hospice patients and exceeding 90% among adults in some intensive care units. Patients who lack capacity may guide decisions regarding their own care through an advance directive, a legal document that records treatment preferences or designates durable power of attorney for health care, or both. Unfortunate the rate of completion of advance directives in the general U.S. population hovers around 20-29% creating uncertainty about who will the alternate decision-maker role for many patients.


This article was published by the US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health.


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IRA Planning


Bankruptcy Protection for Inherited IRAs:
Rocky Landscape


“...if you have an inherited IRA, you need to do some extra digging into your state’s law.” If your state did not opt-out, and applies federal law, then the Clark decision will control, and the inherited IRA will not be protected.


This article was written by Jeremy T. Rodriguez, JD, IRA Analyst for Ed Slott and Company, LLC.


Even When IRS Says Yes, Company Plans May Say No


Retirement plans may decline to offer delayed RMDs, plan loans, stretch and hardship distributions and a host of other legally sanctioned tax maneuvers. Just because the law allows these maneuvers doesn’t mean that their company plans will. The retirement tax rules are unique in that this is one area of tax law where the actual law is more liberal that what is sometimes actually offered by 401(k)s and other company plans. Financial advisors should be familiar with planning strategies that are optional for company plans, before you assure your clients that the strategy is available. The list may surprise you.


This article was written by Ed Slott, CPA and President of Ed Slott and Company, LLC.


IRS Change Could Hurt Group Annuity Sales, Expand Rollover Market


A new Internal Revenue Service decision could boost employers and retirement planners but hurt life insurers and the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp. (PBGC). The IRS has announced the decision in IRS Notice 2019-18. Under Notice 2019-18, an employer may be able to cut some of its pension liabilities without bothering to buy a group annuity. That shift could cut cases sizes when employers do buy group annuities to shed pension obligations.


This article was written by Allison Bell, Author and Insurance Editor for ThinkAdvisor.


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Life Insurance Planning


2 Ways To Combine Charitable Giving And Life Insurance


Life insurance policies can be gifted or used for charitable purposes in several ways.


This article was written by Jamie Hopkins, Director of Retirement Research at Carson Wealth.


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Long-Term Care Planning


Long-term Care Providers and Services Users in the United States, 2015–2016, Released February 2019


This report provides information on the supply, organizational characteristics, staffing, and services offered by providers; and the demographic, health, and functional composition, and adverse events among users of these services. Services users include residents of nursing homes and residential care communities, patients of home health agencies and hospices, and participants of adult day services centers.


The report was prepared by U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Centers for Disease Control and Prevention National Center for Health Statistics.


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Medicare Planning


If You Do Medicare Sign-Up Wrong, It Will Cost You


Tony Farrell turned 65 four years ago — the age when most people shift their health coverage to Medicare. But he was still employed and covered by his company’s group insurance.


When his birthday came around, he began researching whether he needed to move to Medicare, and determined he could stick with his employer’s plan, said Mr. Farrell, a marketing and merchandising executive for specialty retailers. At the time, he was working for a company that makes infomercials in San Francisco.


This article was written by Mark Miller, Writer for The New York Times News Service.


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Retirement Planning


IRS Cracks Open the Window for Retiree Lump Sums


“In light of the Notice, defined benefit plan sponsors can consider whether a lump-sum cashout for retirees in pay status may be desirable.”


This article was distributed by Legal Alerts.


JP Morgan’s 2019 Guide to Retirement


J.P. Morgan Asset Management today released the 2019 Guide to Retirement, examining the state of retirement, current challenges and opportunities, and the tools needed to support planning conversations. This year’s edition marks the 12th year of the annual report, featuring an expanded analysis of late-cycle retirement discussions including impacts from a lower inflation outlook, Medicare considerations, and a new section focused on key topics for defined contribution investing.


This article was distributed by JP Morgan Asset Management.


TD Ameritrade Survey: Retirement and Health Care March 2019


When asked to name barriers to financial independence and early retirement, Americans are less concerned about uncertain market conditions (37 percent) or inflation (35 percent), than they are about healthcare costs (57 percent), according to a new survey conducted for TD Ameritrade, of 1,500 Americans aged 45 and older with $250,000 or more in investable assets.


This article was distributed by TD Ameritrade.


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Practice Management


How to Set Financial Goals


Goals-based financial planning is here to stay, and for good reason. Using a goals-based framework in financial planning led to an increase in investor wealth of more than 15%, according to research by David Blanchett, Morningstar’s head of retirement research.


This article was written by Ray Sin, Behavioural Scientist for Morningstar.


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Assumed Federal Rates (AFRs)


§7520 Rate for April is: 3.0%


AFRs Breakdown:


View a complete history of AFR §7520 rates, as well as information on NumberCruncher Software for Estate, Financial and Charitable Planning at:


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Financial Facts of the Month


But What Do They Pay?


63% of 1,993 registered voters surveyed in early February 2019 believe that “upper income people pay too little” in taxes (Source: Politico/Morning Consult Poll).


Consumer Savings


The St. Louis Fed reported that the national savings rate for December 2018 was 7.6% of disposable income. That was an increase from 6.7% in the fourth quarter and from 6.4% in the prior quarter (Source: Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis).


Economic Downturn


9 of the last 10 recessions in the United States began under a Republican president going back 66 years to 1953. The only recession over this time span that began with a Democratic president in the White House was a 6-month recession that began in January 1980 during Jimmy Carter’s last year as president (Source: National Bureau of Economic Research).


Historical Perspective


Since 1950, there have been 60 different 10-year periods (i.e., the 10-years from 1950-59, 1951-60, 1952-61, . . 2009-2018). The S&P 500 index produced an average annual total return of less than +7% during 15 of the 60 decade-long periods (25% of the time). 19 of the 60 periods (32% of the time) resulted in an average annual total return of at least +14% (Source: BTN Research).


Less Foreign Buyers


Foreign investors, led by China and Japan, held $6.2 trillion of US Treasury securities as of November 2018, just under 40% of total US Treasury debt. That’s the lowest percentage held by foreign investors in the last 15 years (Source: U.S. Department of the Treasury ).


One Espresso Please


27% of 1,000 Millennials surveyed in July 2018 spend more money on coffee each month than what they set aside and invest monthly for their eventual retirement (Source: LendEDU).


Required Minimum Distributions


If you turned age 70½ sometime in 2018, then you must begin taking annual withdrawals from your IRA accounts no later than 4/01/19. If you delay your 1st withdrawal until 4/01/19, you must also take a 2nd distribution by 12/31/19. The penalty for not taking a required minimum distribution is a tax of 50% on any amounts that were not withdrawn on time (Source: Internal Revenue Service (IRS)).


Sitting Pretty


40% of American homeowners own their home free and clear of any debt, i.e., no outstanding mortgage or existing home equity loan. Of the 60% of homeowners with debt, the median outstanding balance is $126,000 (Source: U.S. Census Bureau).


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Useful Financial Website


Physician Order Life Sustaining Treatment (POLST)


The National POLST Paradigm is an approach to end-of-life planning that helps elicit, document and honor patient treatment wishes. The POLST Paradigm emphasizes: (i) advance care planning conversations between patients, health care professionals and loved ones; (ii) shared decision-making between a patient and his/her health care professional about the treatment the patient would like to receive at the end of his/her life; and (iii) ensuring patient wishes are honored. POLST forms are different in each state — the order of the sections or the options within a section may be different — but they cover the same information. This website provides information about the forms in each state.


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Recommended Reading


PLATFORM: Get Noticed in a Noisy World

“Brain Rules: 12 Principles for Surviving and Thriving at Work, Home, and School”

By John Medina, Author


Dr. John Medina’s excellent book, Brain Rules, shares his lifelong interest in how the brain sciences might influence the way we teach our children and the way we work. In each chapter, he describes a brain rule—what scientists

know for sure about how our brains work—and then offers transformative ideas for our daily lives. You want to know how an Advisor thinks?


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Advisor Tools


2019 Tax Guide


2019 Reference Guide to Social Security & Medicare

Our Tax Guide contains tax information such as:   Our Reference Guide contains information such as:
  • Individual income tax rates

  • Estates and trusts tax rates

  • Roth IRA contribution limits and much more

  • Social Security income limits

  • Medicare Parts A-D deductibles and premiums

  • Medicare surtaxes and much more

Download the Tax Guide below:   Download the Reference Guide below:

Please note that we do not provide printed copies. Feel free to make as many of your own copies as you need.


Financial / Insurance
Calculators & Websites


An extensive list of online calculators and informational websites.


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Requirement Updates


The state of New York has updated its CE Annuity requirement.

View each state’s updates, CE requirements and more by clicking on the link below.


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CFP Ethics Webinar


“Ethics CE: CFP Board’s Revised Code and Standards”






(NOTE: This webinar does NOT include state insurance credit.)

FEE: $49.00 (USD)


During this live webinar, Ed will present the CFP Board’s Ethics CE program to help bring CFP® professionals up-to-date on the new Code and Standards. The following learning objectives will be covered during the webinar:

  • Identify the structure and content of the revised Code and Standards, including significant changes and how the changes affect CFP® professionals.
  • Act in accordance with CFP Board’s fiduciary duty.
  • Apply the Practice Standards when providing Financial Planning.
  • Recognize situations when specific information must be provided to a Client.
  • Recognize and avoid, or fully disclose and manage, Material Conflicts of Interest.

The webinar consists of:

  • Five learning objectives
  • Five vignettes (review questions)
  • Interactive polling questions at the end of each learning objective (except for Learning Objective Number Four)
  • Five interactive quiz questions after Learning Objective Number Five and its polling questions have been presented
  • Webinar Evaluation Form at the conclusion of the presentation (will open after you have left the webinar and a link at the end of the follow-up email)


Click on the “Register here” button below to register today!

NOTE: If your company’s site blocks access to GoToWebinar, please use a non-work related device, such as a personal computer, laptop, tablet or iPad. Also, do NOT use your company’s internet or Wi-Fi to connect.

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BEST’s Advisor Insight
Audio Podcast




Below is a list of available Advisor Insight Audio Podcast episodes:


  • Episode 1: 2019 IRS Tax Information


  • Episode 1: Roth IRA Recharacterizations After the Tax Cuts and
    Jobs Act of 2017
  • Episode 2: Financial Exploitation of Seniors



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Featured Self-Study CE Course


Advisor’s Guide to Medicare and Medicaid


The Advisor’s Guide to Medicare and Medicaid provides a detailed study of Medicare, Medigap policies, and Medicaid. In each of these programs, the areas of eligibility, enrollment, benefits, deductibles, and co-payments are analyzed in great detail.


Self-Study CE Course List


As a top-notch continuing education provider we:

  • Deliver CE to financial and insurance advisors
  • Offer up-to-date and industry pertinent CE courses that maximize credits
  • Provide ClearCert certified long-term care and annuity training CE courses
  • Supply CE courses that are approved in all 50 states and the
    District of Columbia


Order CE courses toll free: 1-800-345-5669 or local: 727-853-0575
OR send an email to


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Super CE Program

Super CE Programs

Top 5 reasons to schedule a Super CE program:

  1. Classroom course: 1-hour (instructor-led)
  2. Self-Study/Correspondence course: Provides up to 21 hours of state insurance CE and 5 or 10 hours of professional designation CE
  3. Increase meeting attendance and leverage your time
  4. Assist advisors in meeting their mandatory CE requirements
  5. Position your company’s strategy, product solutions and value-added programs

What Advisors Say...


“Thanks! This was the most enjoyable CE I’ve completed in my over 14+ years as an advisor. I’ll be back.”  ~ Raymond James Advisor

“I didn’t even need the CE, but took the class to expand my knowledge and understanding. Thank you BEST.”  ~ Merrill Lynch Advisor

“BEST has perfected the Super CE program!”  ~ Morgan Stanley Advisor

“Productive & effective use of time in meeting Continuing Education requirements.”  ~ Wells Fargo Advisor

“Excellent program, well worth the time!” ~ UBS Advisor


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BEST Information


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