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Advisor News Insight

Formal Education



Industry News


Tax Planning

Tax Year In Review 2017


Trusts & Estates invaluable resource for wealth practitioners the annual:
Tax Year in Review 2017.


This report was written by Trusts & Estates.


Estate Planning


Avoid ‘dangerous’ planning generalizations after new tax law


The drastic changes are shaking up the status quo of estate planning. Here’s how financial planners need to change their approach.


This article was written by Martin M. Shenkman, CPA, PFS, JD, is a Financial Planning contributing writer and an estate planner in Fort Lee, New Jersey. He is founder of Shenkman Law.


Retirement Planning


2017 Risks and Process of Retirement Survey


The Society of Actuaries’ Committee on Post Retirement Needs and Risks is pleased to make available the full report of findings for the biennial survey, Risks and Process of Retirement. The survey, the ninth in the series, was conducted online of Americans ages 45 to 80. The purpose of the study is to evaluate Americans’ awareness of potential financial risks in retirement, how this awareness impacts the management of their finances with respect to retirement, and how Americans are managing the process of leaving the workforce.


This report research was conducted by the Mathew Greenwald & Associates, Inc.


Challenge for Americans: Saving For Health Care Costs in Retirement


Health care will likely be the most costly expense employees will face during their retirement years — premiums alone are projected to cost a healthy 65 year old couple nearly $321,0001. And, these costs are expected to continue to increase. For example, inflation for health care is projected to rise at a rate twice that of Social Security cost of living adjustments (COLAs), putting retirement security for many in jeopardy. Employees are already struggling to save adequately for their future needs.


This report was written by the ADP, LLC.


IRAs now account for 25% of retirement
savings: EBRI


The average balance for all IRAs grew by about 50% during the 2010-2015 time frame, to about $146,000. People 70 years old and older had the highest average ($229,000) and median ($81,000) balances.


This issue brief was written by the Employee Benefit Research Institute.


IRI State of the Insured Retirement Industry: 2017 Review and 2018 Outlook


In its sixth annual State of the Insured Retirement Industry, the Insured Retirement Institute (IRI) reviews and analyzes the market environment, product development, annuity sales and distribution, and legal and regulatory developments that impacted the retirement income industry in 2017, and discusses potential trends in the coming year.


This report was written by the Insured Retirement Institute (IRI).


IRS FAQ Roth IRA Rollovers and Recharacterizations


Page from the IRS website confirms that a Roth IRA conversion made in 2017 may be recharacterized as a contribution to a traditional IRA if the recharacterization is made by October 15, 2018.


Stanford analyzed 292 retirement strategies,
says this one is best


When you’re ready to retire, how can you be sure you'll have enough money to last? And what’s the best way to withdraw your savings over the years? Steve Vernon, a consulting research scholar at the Stanford Center on Longevity, set out to answer these questions by collaborating with the Society of Actuaries on a research project: “How to ‘Pensionize’ Any IRA or 401(k) Plan.” After analyzing 292 retirement income strategies, the research team identified the best way for most people to withdraw their money in retirement. They call it the “spend safely in retirement.”


This article was written by Steve Vernon, FSA, Research Scholar Stanford Center on Longevity.


BEST’s Advisor Insight Audio Podcast


Hosted by: Edward J. Barrett

BEST's Founder, President and CEO

We are excited to announce that our new – Advisor Insight Audio Podcast – is officially live and accessible online. Episode 1: Roth IRA Recharacterizations After the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 is currently available.

Click on the Podcast button below to listen now!




Subscribe to our podcast email notification list by clicking on the Subscribe button below.


Social Security Planning


When It Pays To Pay Social Security Taxes


The reason that Social Security FICA taxes can generate a positive ROI is that ultimately, any wages or self-employment income that is taxed for Social Security purposes is also income that will be considered when calculating Social Security benefits.


This article was written by Michael E. Kitces MSFS, MTAX, CFP, CLU, ChFC, RHU, REBC, CASL, Title of Nerd's Eye View -


Medicare & Medicaid Planning


Kitces: The value of Medicare surtax planning


With lowered surcharge thresholds effective this year, strategies to manage the bite are a way for advisors to add client value.


This article was written by Michael E. Kitces, MSFS, MTAX, CFP, CLU, ChFC, RHU, REBC, CASL of Nerd's Eye View -


Complimentary Live Webinar
1-hour CE Credit for CFP®, CIMA® and CPWA®*


Planning with Medicare


Presented by: Edward J. Barrett


Tuesday, February 20, 2018 | 3:45pm - 4:45pm EST


Join Ed Barrett, BEST’s Founder, President and CEO on Tuesday, February 20, 2018. He will be hosting a live webinar that will allow advisors to:

  1. Identify the various Parts of Medicare
  2. Describe the Medicare Choices
  3. List the services provided by each Part of Medicare
  4. Recognize the enrollment and disenrollment dates
  5. Determine the costs of Medicare
  6. Tax planning ideas with Medicare Part B and D IRMAA premiums
  7. Identify eligibility requirements and the benefits and of
    Medicare Supplement Plans
  8. Present the differences amongst Medicare Supplement Plans

Don't wait, click the Register button below to register now!



LIVE EVENT ONLY: This webinar has been approved for one (1) CE credit hour for CFP®/CIMA®/CPWA®. If you provided your CFP®/CIMA®/CPWA® information at registration, BEST will report the completed credit on your behalf within 14 business days of this live webinar. Please be aware that you must watch the event for a minimum of 50 minutes in order to be granted credit. For more information, please contact


Subscribe to our webinar email notification list by clicking on the Subscribe button below.


Please note that the above registration link will be active until 30 minutes PRIOR to webinar start time. Registration link will be available in the next newsletter. Last minute registrations will not be allowed access due to CE credit time requirement. (See CE Credit Information above.)


Practice Management


FINRA’s 2018 Exam Priorities:
Fraud, High-Risk Firms and Brokers


Similar to last year’s efforts, addressing fraudulent activities, high-risk firms and brokers, and operational and financial risks are among the leading matters that FINRA will continue to pursue in 2018.


This article was written by Ted Godbout, Writer/Editor of The National Association of Plan Advisors (NAPA).


Vanguard’s New CEO Says
Advisor’s Jobs Are in Jeopardy


Tim Buckley kicked off the Inside ETFs conference with a dire warning for those in the audience—embrace the inevitable fee erosion around asset management, or face extinction. But Buckley said there’s still a future for advisors who “embrace the disruption” and understand that their value lies not in asset management or allocation plans, but in managing client behavior, moving away from commission-based business models and toward fee-based advice.


This article was written by Dan Weil, freelance financial writer.


Why clients hate their financial advisors


Planners have picked up some bad habits over the years. Here’s what do to about it.


This article was written by Allan Boomer, Chief Investment Officer of Momentum Advisors.


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Assumed Federal Rates (AFRs)


Section 7520 rate for February is 2.8%


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


Huge Impact


43% of the Fortune 500 companies in 2017 (i.e., the 500 largest US companies as measured by annual revenues last year) were founded or co-founded by either an immigrant to the United States or by the child of an immigrant (Source: Center for American Entrepreneurship (CAE)).


Little Shorter


The life expectancy of a baby born in the United States in 2016 is 78.6 years, a decline of 0.1 year from 2015, the statistic’s second straight “year-over-year” drop after 21 consecutive years of increase  (Source: National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS)).


Long-Term Care


20% of Medicaid spending in calendar year 2016, i.e., 20% of $566 billion or $113 billion, paid for long-term care expenses (Source: Morningstar).




The 57 million Americans on Medicare (17% of our 326 million citizens) account for 29% of our total national spending on prescription drugs (Source: Medicare).


Ninety Years Old


1 out of every 4 Americans who reach age 65 will live at least another 25 years to age 90 (Source: Social Security Administration).




The national debt of the United States was $20.493 trillion as of Thursday 12/28/17, an increase of $11.4 trillion (from $9.121 trillion) since 12/28/07 or 10 years ago (Source: U.S. Department of the Treasury).


Super Replay


Super Bowl # 52 matching the Patriots vs. the Eagles will be a rematch of the same teams from Super Bowl # 39 (played on 2/06/05). Tom Brady quarterbacked the Patriots in the 2005 title game. Current Eagles quarterback Nick Foles was just a sophomore at Westlake High School in Austin, TX in February 2005, having turned 16 years old on 1/20/05 (Source: BTN Research).


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Advisor Survey


Value-added Continuing Education Programs


We are totally committed to providing you with the best possible service. Our value-added continuing education survey needs your input please. As a thank you for completing the survey, you will receive a 10% discount off your next correspondence CE course order. The survey should only take about 3 minutes. Many thanks in advance for your time and input!


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Advisor Tools


2018 Tax Guide


2018 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


Several states have updated their insurance CE requirements. (View updates, CE requirements and more by clicking on the link below.)


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Featured Self-Study CE Course


The Advisor's Guide to Annuities and
Ethical Practices


Developed to give the financial and insurance advisor a complete guide to understanding annuities, annuity tax laws, contract structure, suitability and ethical practices.


Self-Study CE Course Catalogs


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 Programs
  1. Classroom course: 1-hour (instructor-led)
  2. Correspondence/self-study 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 and product solutions

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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Contact Us


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