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Advisor News Insight

Happy 4th of July!



Industry News


Annuity Planning


LIMRA Secure Retirement Institute Forecasts Total Annuity Sales to Improve Through 2019


IMRA Secure Retirement Institute (LIMRA SRI) released its three-year annuity sales forecast for 2018, 2019 and 2020. After six consecutive quarters of declines, total annuity sales leveled off in the fourth quarter 2017 and first quarter 2018. Improved economic1 and regulatory conditions have prompted LIMRA SRI to forecast total annuity sales to increase 5-10 percent in 2018 and improve up to 5 percent in 2019. Based on uncertainty around the SEC best interest rule and expected market volatility, LIMRA SRI expects total annuity sales to be flat in 2020.


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IRA Planning


Watch Out for this Penalty When You Take a Roth IRA Distribution


Have you recently converted your traditional IRA to a Roth IRA? Are you under 59½? If so, you will want to know about the five-year rule for penalty-free distributions of converted funds from your Roth IRA. Many people are not aware of it, and not understanding how the rule works can result in heavy penalties when you withdraw your Roth IRA funds.


This article was written by Sarah Brenner, JD and IRA Analyst of Ed Slott and Company, LLC.


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Long Term Care Planning


Help Clients Come to Grips with Long-Term Care


Starting a conversation about planning for illness and decline in old age is difficult with any client. Those who fall into the high-net-worth category are no exception.


Nearly 60% of financial advisors working with clients with $1 million or more in investable assets say fewer than a quarter of their clients have a long-term care plan, according to a new Key Private Bank study.


So how can advisors persuade clients to start thinking about putting a plan in place?


This article was written by  Charles Paikert, Senior Editor at Financial Planning.


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Medicare & Medicaid Planning


A “Stealth” Surcharge for Affluent Retirees


Higher Medicare premium payments are hitting a growing number of affluent retirees, thanks to recent changes enacted by Congress. Here’s how to help your clients deal with them.


This article was written by Mark Miller, Journalist and Author of various sites and magazines.


New Medicare Cards


CMS has been rolling out the new Medicare cards without SSNs on them. However, most (76%) U.S. adults ages 65 and older indicate they have not seen, read, or heard much or anything at all about the new Medicare cards (or are not sure). AARP Research conducted a survey about the new cards, and the results are quite interesting.


This survey was prepared by the AARP.


The 2018 Medicare Trustees Report


On June 5, 2018 the Board of Trustees released the 53rd Annual Medicare Trustees Report. The Trustees Report is a detailed, lengthy document, containing a substantial amount of information on the past and estimated future financial operations of the Hospital Insurance and Supplementary Medical Insurance Trust Funds.


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Retirement Planning


A number to avoid when discussing health care costs with clients


As advisors struggle to help clients assess health care costs in retirement, Vanguard offers them a bit of advice: Frame the number as an annual expense rather than a lifetime lump sum. It’s less daunting and more precise, the investment management company says in a new report.


This article was written by Margarida Correia, Associate Editor of Bank Investment Consultant.


Advisors and Clients Alike Fail to Address Longevity Risk


Clients have been hearing about the impending retirement “crisis” for so long that many are ignoring the other side of the coin, the risk of running out of retirement funds due to unexpected longevity. Primary among the various “longevity risks” is the potentially astronomical cost of long-term care.


Just how deep the problem runs is explored in a recent survey of 150 advisors’ experiences with planning for LTC, performed by Key Private Bank.


This article was written by David H. Lenok, Senior Editor for and Trusts & Estates.


Gig Economy and The future of Retirement


Today, more than one in three U.S. workers are freelancers — and this figure is expected to grow to 40% by 2020 (Intuit). Increasingly, workers are eschewing or supplementing the traditional “nine-to-five” career with independent or temporary work. This trend, commonly known as the rise of the gig economy, is fundamentally changing the way we earn, spend and save for retirement. Betterment’s inaugural report, Gig Economy and the Future of Retirement, examines the financial profiles of Americans earning an income through the gig economy.


This report was prepared by the Betterment.


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Social Security Planning


The 2018 Social Security Trustees Report


On June 5, 2018 the Board of Trustees released the 78th Social Security Trustees Report. The Trustees Report is a detailed, lengthy document, containing a substantial amount of information on the past and estimated future financial operations of the OASDI programs.


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Tax Planning


Guidance on Certain Payments Made in Exchange for State and Local Tax Credits


On May 23rd, the Service issued IRS Notice 2018-54, which informs taxpayers that the Department of the Treasury and the Internal Revenue Service intend to propose regulations addressing the federal income tax treatment of certain payments made by taxpayers for which taxpayers receive a credit against their state and local taxes.


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Practice Management


Are Your Clients Hearing Your Message Loud and Clear?


Communication is critical for advisors. Great communication can strengthen their relationships with clients, and help move clients closer to their financial goals. Advisors with good communication skills can more easily engage their clients, getting them more involved in the wealth management process. But poor communication habits can drive a wedge between clients and advisors, and ultimately jeopardize a practice’s growth potential.


This whitepaper was prepared by the ©Advisor Group.


Groups want 5th Circuit to officially vacate fiduciary rule


The National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors and the American Council of Life Insurers have asked the 5th US Circuit Court of Appeals to issue a mandate making its decision to vacate the Labor Department’s fiduciary rule official. Without the mandate, the rule remains in effect, creating “palpable uncertainty for significant portions of the insurance and financial services industries,” the groups say in a court filing.


This article was written by Melanie Waddell, Washington Bureau Chief of Investment Advisory Group.


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Assumed Federal Rates (AFRs)


Section 7520 rate for July is 3.4%


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


Avoid the Worst


The total return for the S&P 500 over the last 10 years (2008-2017) was a gain of +8.5% per year (total return). If you avoided the 10 worst percentage days over the 10 years (10 trading days in total, not 10 days per year), the +8.5% annual gain rises to an annual gain of +16.8% (Source: BTN Research).


Big Surprise


17% of 1,040 retirees surveyed in January 2018 say their health care expenditures in retirement are “much higher than expected” (Source: EBRI Retirement Confidence Survey).




The USA’s current economic expansion (in its 107th month) is the nation’s 2nd longest expansion based upon data that has been tracked since 1854, i.e., for 164 years (Source: National Bureau of Economic Research).


Many Years, No Change


The Social Security payroll tax rate paid by employees has been 6.2% since 1990 except for a 2% reduction in the rate during the 2 years of 2011-12 (Source: Social Security Administration).


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New World


By 2030, i.e., just 12 years from now, 23% of the “on-the-job” hours of Americans workers could be automated and completed by artificial intelligence and robotics (Source: McKinsey & Company).


One Day


Of the top 50 “percentage gain days” for the S&P 500 over the last 10 years (2008-2017), only 1 has occurred in the last 6 years (2012-2017), i.e., a +3.9% gain (total return) on 8/26/15 (Source: BTN Research).


Will It Work?


2 states (New York and New Jersey) have enacted legislation that creates a workaround from the $10,000 “state and local tax” (SALT) deduction limitation that is part of the 2017 “Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.” The IRS has yet to rule on the legality of the arrangement in which state taxpayers make a “charitable contribution” to a fund set up by their city, allowing them to receive a “tax credit” against their property taxes (Source: BTN Research).


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Recommended Reading


Death of the Dinosaur: How Wall Street Has Changed and Where it is Headed by Jory Berkwits


Former Merrill Lynch senior vice president Jory Berkwits knows the financial industry inside and out, and during his career he has observed how technological advances and regulatory reform have combined to transform modern investing. Yet, in spite of many benefits like lower prices,

instant access to information, and an increased focus on investor protection, most individual investors don’t trust Wall Street. Some even think the game is rigged in the favor of huge institutions and hedge funds.


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Advisor Survey


Value-added Continuing Education
Survey Results


Our 2018 Value-added Continuing Education (CE) Survey is now closed. A huge thanks to all 1,547 participants! We will have a final survey report available soon. Until then, here a few highlights:

  • 75% of advisors prefer receiving CE in a live setting
  • 99% of advisors feel it’s important (very important 74% / somewhat important 25%) for wholesalers to provide value-added CE programs
  • 97% of advisors are more likely to attend a wholesaler meeting when CE is being offered
  • 65% of advisors say that wholesalers visiting their branch office provide CE programs
  • 93% of advisors are willing to meet with a wholesaler after he/she has provided a CE program

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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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Complimentary Live Webinar:
Planning with Social Security


1-hour of CE Credit for the following advanced designations only: CFP®, CIMA® and CPWA®*

(It does NOT include state insurance credit.)


Presented by: Edward J. Barrett


Date & Time: Tuesday, July 17, 2018 | 3:45pm - 4:45pm ET


This webinar will allow advisors to:

  1. Relate the history of the Social Security program
  2. Describe the various OASDI programs and benefits
  3. Determine eligibility requirements
  4. Calculate OA retirement benefits
  5. Utilize strategies to maximize benefits
  6. Apply the taxation rules on Social Security benefits

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


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



LIVE WEBINAR ONLY: This webinar has been approved for one (1) CE credit hour for CFP®/CIMA®/CPWA®. If you provided your advanced designation information at registration, BEST will report the completed credit on your behalf within five (5) business days of this live webinar. Please be aware that you must view the event for a minimum of 50 minutes in order to be granted credit. (Credit is for the advanced designations listed above only. It does NOT include state insurance credit. Also advisors must be logged into and viewing the video/presentation NOT just listening to the audio.) For more information regarding the webinar registration process, please contact If you have any questions regarding CE credit, contact our Accreditation Department at


Unable to attend this month’s webinar? Receive updates and registration information for future webinars by clicking on the Subscribe button below.


**Please note that registration will be open until 30 minutes PRIOR to webinar start time. Registration will NOT be available until the next event is open for registration. Last minute registrations will NOT be allowed access due to CE credit time requirement. (See CE Credit Information above.)


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BEST’s Advisor Insight
Audio Podcast


Hosted by: Edward J. Barrett

BEST’s Founder, President and CEO

Our Advisor Insight Audio Podcast episodes are available online:

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

Click on the Podcast button below to listen now!




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


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Featured Self-Study CE Course


The Advisor’s Guide to IRAs


The Advisor’s Guide to IRAs is a continuing education course that covers all aspects of Individual Retirement Accounts. The course is designed to help the financial advisor or insurance professional benefit the client with more in-depth information concerning the history and specific types of IRAs; investing; protections; estate planning; and, education.


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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