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Advisor News Insight

4th of July

BEST wishes everyone a very Happy Independence Day and honors all who currently serve, have served and who have sacrificed all for our country. Thank you!





Industry News


Annuity Planning


Deferred Income Annuity Purchases: Optimal Levels for Retirement Income Adequacy


Deferred Income Annuities (DIAs) are designed to reduce the probability of outliving savings by providing monthly benefits in the later stages of retirement. Because of their delayed payments, DIAs could be offered for a small fraction of the cost for a similar monthly benefit through an annuity that starts payments immediately at retirement. Many believe that the lower cost would at least partially mitigate retirees’ reluctance to give up control over a large portion of their DC and/or IRA balances at retirement age.


This article was written by Jack VanDerhei Research Director of Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI).


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Charitable Planning


Charitable Giving and Tax Reform: How Financial Advisor Conversations About Philanthropy Are Changing


Fidelity Charitable survey focuses on the impact of tax reform on financial advisors and philanthropy; Nearly half of advisors say that clients increased their giving overall. The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act signed in December 2017 overhauled the American tax code. It also altered how advisors are thinking of charitable giving and bringing philanthropy into conversations with clients.


This survey was prepared by FIDELITY Charitable℠.


When to Open Donor-Advised Funds VS. Private Foundations?


Though there’s been an explosion of new donor-advised fund (DAF) accounts that have opened in the past decade, many attorneys, accountants and financial advisors report that some clients still come to them and state that they want to create a private foundation (PF). Once they’ve listened to their advisors, however, far more clients open up DAF accounts instead.


This article was written by Ken Nopar Senior Philanthropic Advisor of the American Endowment Foundation.


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Estate Planning


Aretha Franklin Goes from No Will to Three


Aretha Franklin, who was previously thought to have died intestate, had not one, but three, handwritten wills stashed in her Michigan home. Two of the wills were discovered inside a locked cabinet in the home, and a third was found scribbled in a spiral notebook under cushions of the living room couch.


This article was written by Anna Sulkin Legal Editor of Trust & Estates Magazine.


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Long-Term Care Planning


States Approving Bigger Rate Increases for Long-Term Care Policies


Clients received an apparent bargain and gained assurances that they’d be properly cared for in retirement. Curiously, the stubborn tendency of contemporary people to live a very long time has been breaking the back of insurers. Something had to give.


This article was written by Greg Iacurci Reporter, Retirement Planning and Insurance for InvestmentNews LLC.


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Retirement Planning


Fifth Annual Guaranteed Lifetime Income Study (GLIS)


Consumers remain impacted by a stigma over annuities, but the appeal of guaranteed lifetime income products climbs sharply when framed as part of a clear retirement income strategy, new research shows. According to the 5th annual Guaranteed Lifetime Income Study by Greenwald & Associates and CANNEX, interest in guaranteed lifetime income products is closely tied to whether they are positioned as part of a retirement income strategy, stock market performance, covering health care costs or concerns about running out of money in retirement.


Study prepared by Greenwald & Associates and CANNEX.


Is There Really a Retirement ‘Crisis?’


This debate prompted me to do a deep dive into the research to see what the data show about such a crisis. While you might not care about the debate, since the only crisis you care about is your own, we still can gain insight into our personal situations by understanding the challenges that others face.


This article was written by Mark Hulbert a regular contributor to MarketWatch.


Report on the Economic Well-Being of U.S. Households in 2018 (May 2019)


This report describes the responses to the sixth annual Survey of Household Economics and Decisionmaking (SHED). The goal of the survey is to share the wide range of financial challenges and opportunities facing individuals and households in the United States.


This report was prepared by Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System.


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Social Security Planning


Can your clients pass the earnings test?


Especially for couples in which one spouse retires early, good planning can mean the difference between thousands of dollars in Social Security Benefits.


This article was written by Jeffrey Levine CPA/PFS, CFP®, CWS®, MSA and CEO, Director of Financial Planning at BluePrint Wealth Alliance.


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Social Security Sees Some Improvement, But Headwinds Remain


While there’s some good news in the Trustees report for the nation’s retirement security system, there’s also some not-so-good news. First, the good news. The combined asset reserves of the Old-Age and Survivors Insurance and Disability Insurance (OASI and DI) Trust Funds are projected to become depleted in 2035, one year later than projected last year, according to the annual report of the Social Security Board of Trustees. If Congress does not act before then to shore up the program, there would be enough income coming in to pay 80% of scheduled benefits at that time.


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Practice Management


An Advisor’s Value: Bridging the Behavior Gap


Those of us who have chosen a career in the financial services industry believe in the value of financial advisors. We know that financial experts are important for any individual who is trying to achieve a financial goal, and we firmly believe that working with an advisor improves the client’s life. But not everyone agrees with us.


Too often financial advisors are dismissed as a costly luxury by those who believe that a computer program can do what an advisor does for much less money. It’s been difficult to prove those people wrong because most of the stories describing an advisor’s value are anecdotal and situational, until now.


This article was written by Jan Blakeley Holman CFP®, CIMA®, ChFC®, CDFA, CFS, GFS® Director of Advisor Education at Thornburg Investment Management.


Do Advisors Need Their Firm’s Consent to Open 529s for Their Kids?


FINRA Rule 3210 says that associated persons are not permitted to open brokerage accounts at another member firm or financial institution without the prior written consent of the member firm they work for.


This article was written by Alan J. Foxman Senior Consultant and Vice President at NCS Regulatory Compliance.


Getting the Full Picture: The Emerging Best Interest and Fiduciary Duty Patchwork

Putting the pieces together


By all accounts, 2019 will see the advancement of a number of fiduciary and best interest investment advice regulations at both the federal and state levels. Firms subject to these regulations will face challenges in dealing with rules that will impose a host of new obligations, and that may overlap and conflict with one another. This chart is intended to help firms take stock of the evolving framework and aid firms in putting the pieces together.


This chart was prepared and distributed by Eversheds Sutherland Ltd.


How Well Do You Know Our HNW Client Market?


In the first of a series of articles focusing on who the wealthy are, a look at the significant opportunity posed by the growing number of HNW individuals, where they are based, as well insights into how they have made their wealth and what this means for them.


Articles distributed by The Capital Group Companies, Inc.


SEC Adopts Rules and Interpretations to Enhance Protections and Preserve Choice for Retail Investors in Their Relationships With Financial Professionals

The Securities and Exchange Commission today voted to adopt a package of rulemakings and interpretations designed to enhance the quality and transparency of retail investors’ relationships with investment advisers and broker-dealers, bringing the legal requirements and mandated disclosures in line with reasonable investor expectations, while preserving access (in terms of choice and cost) to a variety of investment services and products. Specifically, these actions include new Regulation Best Interest, the new Form CRS Relationship Summary, and two separate interpretations under the Investment Advisers Act of 1940.


This press release was distributed by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.


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Assumed Federal Rates (AFRs)


§7520 Rate for July is: 2.6%


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


Aging Population


Between 1950 and 2018, the US population doubled from 159.1 million to 332.8 million while the number of Americans at least age 65 quadrupled from 12.8 million to 52.4 million (Source: Social Security 2019 Trustees Report).


Dollars In, Dollars Out


At the end of 2018, Medicare was covering 59.9 million Americans (18% of our population). The program was cash positive in 2018, taking in $756 billion of income (including $10 billion of interest income) while paying out $741 billion in benefits (Source: Medicare).


Half as Much


Inflation, as measured by the “consumer price index” (CPI) was up +2.2% annually for the last 25 years, i.e., 1994-2018. Inflation was up +4.3% annually over the 50 years before that, i.e., 1944-1993. The CPI is a measure of inflation compiled by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Studies (Source: U.S. Department of Labor).


In Just Ten Years


The average cost of tuition, fees, room and board during the 2018-2019 school year at an average 4-year public college was $21,370, up +5.4% per year over the last 30 years. If that same rate of inflation continues over the next decade, 1-year of college (at an average in-state public college) will cost $36,040 during the school year of 2028-2029 (Source: College Board).


In the Year 2034


Social Security trustees announced on 4/22/19 that the trust fund backing the payment of Social Security benefits (OASI retirement benefits) would be zero in 2034. A zero “trust fund” does not mean the payment of Social Security benefits would also go to zero, but rather would drop to 77% of their originally promised levels through the year 2095. When the trustees released their report in 2009 (i.e., 10 years ago), the Social Security Trust Fund was projected to be depleted in 2039 (Source: Social Security 2019 Trustees Report).


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Maybe Never?


34% of American workers surveyed anticipate that they will be at least age 70 before they retire (Source: EBRI 2019 Retirement Confidence Survey).




Per a 4/22/19 report, the trust fund supporting Medicare Part A (hospital insurance) is projected to be depleted by 2026. The long-term (75-year) present value shortfall in the trust fund could be corrected by an immediate 0.91 percentage point increase in combined Medicare payroll taxes (from its current 2.90% to 3.81%) or an immediate 19% reduction in Medicare expenditures (Source: Medicare Trustees 2019 Report).


Moved Money Around


The Disability Insurance (DI) Trust Fund had been projected to be depleted by the 4th quarter 2016 per a 7/22/15 Social Security Trustee report. This forced Congress to allocate more of the 12.4% combined payroll taxes collected from employers and employees for 3 years (2016-17-18). The additional funds (from 1.8 percentage points to 2.37 percentage points out of the 12.4 percentage points) has now pushed the DI Trust Fund’s exhaustion date to 2052 or 33 years out (Source: Social Security Trustees 2019 Report).




45% of the 76 million “Baby Boomers” in the USA have no retirement savings. “Baby Boomers” were born between 1946 and 1964, i.e., the oldest “boomers” turned 65 years old in 2011. “Boomers” reaching age 65 in 2019 represent the 9th year of 19 years of “Baby Boomers” (Source: Insured Retirement Institute (IRI)).


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Useful Financial Website


Healthy Life Expectancy Calculator (HLEC)


Here’s How Long You’ll Live — and How Much of that Will Be Healthy Years


As the old saying goes, the only things certain in life are death and taxes. While death is inevitable, the quality of life you experience until death is often within an individual’s control. This is what our team at the Goldenson Center for Actuarial Research chose to focus on by developing a rigorous measure of quality of life. How many healthy years of life do you have ahead before you become unhealthy? Calculate your measure of quality of life.


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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


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


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CFP Ethics Webinar


“Ethical Practices for Professionals”
(Course#: 248997)


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.






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

FEE: $49.00 (USD)


  1. CFP ONLY license: $49.00
  2. CIMA / CPWA ONLY license: $49.00
  3. CFP AND CIMA / CPWA licenses: $49.00 plus an additional fee
    of $25.00

(“Investments & Wealth Institute® has accepted this CFP Ethics webinar for 2 hours of CE credit towards the CIMA®, CPWA®, CIMC®, and RMA® certifications.”)


The webinar consists of:

  • Five learning objectives
    1. Identify the structure and content of the revised Code and Standards, including significant changes and how the changes affect CFP® professionals.
    2. Act in accordance with CFP Board’s fiduciary duty.
    3. Apply the Practice Standards when providing Financial Planning.
    4. Recognize situations when specific information must be provided to a Client.
    5. Recognize and avoid, or fully disclose and manage, Material Conflicts of Interest.
  • 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 all Learning Objectives have been presented (credit received for attendee time logged and participation, no examination required)
  • Webinar Evaluation Form after the presentation has ended (will open after the presenter has ended the webinar. You will also receive a follow-up email 24 - 48 hours AFTER the webinar has concluded, with a link to access the online Evaluation Form.)

Click on the “Upcoming webinars” button below to view upcoming CFP Ethics Webinar dates/times.

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


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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


Retirement Plans for Small Businesses


Small businesses constitute an essential element of the U.S. economy. Approximately 30 million small businesses operate in the United States, making up the vast majority of employer firms in the country. Collectively, these small businesses employ nearly 80 million workers or approximately half of all private sector employees. This course is designed to review and clarify the diverse business structures and the benefit plans available to each.


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As a top-notch continuing education provider we:

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Order CE courses toll free: 1-800-345-5669 or local: 727-853-0575
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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, 10 or 20 hours of professional designation CE
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BEST Information


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