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Advisor News Insight

Happy Memorial Day!



Industry News


10 facts About the SEC’s Best Interest Rule


Now that the U.S. Court of Appeals has vacated the DoL rule and the SEC has proposed its own rule, what should brokers expect from the upcoming regulation? The truth is the current state of the law remains unclear. Here are 10 things you need to know about the proposed Regulation Best Interest.


This article was written by Todd Cipperman, Founding Principal of Cipperman Compliance Services, LLC.


Battle Lines Drawn Over SEC Best Interest Proposal


Brokers may feel they dodged a bullet with the SEC’s new proposal for a best interest standard of conduct. After all, the commission avoided tagging brokers with the strict fiduciary duty that governs registered investment advisors. While financial advisors may breathe a sigh of relief that other aspects of the commission’s proposal reinforce their well-established fiduciary responsibilities, amounting to minimal disruption in how most firms do business.


This article was written by Kenneth Corbin, Financial Planning contributing writer for


Annuity Planning


The Fourth Annual 2018 Guaranteed Lifetime Income Study (GLIS)


This report presents the summary results of the 2018 Guaranteed Lifetime Income Study (GLIS), conducted by Greenwald & Associates and CANNEX. The study explores attitudes about the value of guaranteed lifetime income and annuities that guarantee income for life. The 2018 study marks the 4th annual edition of the study.


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Charitable Giving


The Global Philanthropy Report: Perspectives on the Global Foundation Sector


“The Global Philanthropy Report: Perspectives on the global foundation sector” is the most comprehensive analysis to date of global philanthropic practices and trends. The report was authored by researchers at the Hauser Institute for Civil Society at Harvard University and funded by UBS. April, 2018.


The report was authored by Paula D. Johnson, Senior Research Fellow at Hauser Institute for Civil Society, Harvard University.


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Health Care Planning


IRS Announces 2019 HSA Limits


The annual limit on deductible contributions to a health savings account will jump by $50 for individuals and $100 for families next year, the IRS announced late last week.

For 2019, the annual limit on deductible contributions will be $3,500 for individuals with self-only coverage, a $50 increase from 2018, and $7,000 for family coverage, a $100 increase from 2018.

Meanwhile, the minimum deductible for a qualifying high-deductible health plan remains unchanged for 2019: $1,350 for individual coverage and $2,700 for family coverage.


This article was written by Kathryn Mayer, Editor-in-Chief of Employee Benefit News.


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IRA Planning


When Your Clients Divorce, Avoid this Costly
IRA Mistake


Divorces are often messy, as was the case for Michigan doctor John Kirkpatrick. Dr. Kirkpatrick separated from his wife, Christiana, in 2012, but six years later, found himself in Tax Court after he failed to pay taxes on $140,000 in IRA distributions he withdrew to transfer to his ex. Recently, in his case, the Tax Court reminded us that there are only two ways to make a tax-free transfer of IRA assets in a divorce proceeding.


This article was written by Ed Slott, Financial Planning contributing writer and an IRA distribution expert, professional speaker and author of several books on IRAs. For more information visit: Ed Slott and Compnay, LLC.


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Life Insurance Planning


ACLI 2017 Life Insurers Fact Book


The 2017 Fact Book provides statistics and information on trends in the life insurance industry. Specific topics covered include assets, liabilities, income, expenditures, reinsurance, life insurance, and annuities.


Report prepared by American Council of Life Insurers.


Structuring Life Insurance for Changing Needs Over Time


Life insurance is an essential part of a comprehensive financial plan, whether for those that would be financially devastated by an untimely death (e.g., to protect spouses and children), or even for high-net-worth individuals who may have the financial wherewithal if someone passes away but not the liquidity to handle estate taxes, buy/sell agreements, or simply to efficiently split assets to heirs. Yet unfortunately, due in no small part to the unhealthy commission-based incentives of life insurance salespeople, consumers often end out buying the wrong type or more life insurance than they actually need. But as Rebello points out, in many cases clients end up “overbuying” on life insurance simply because they don’t properly estimate how their insurance needs may decline over time… which helps to explain why, unfortunately, the Society of Actuaries has found that 75% of all life insurance policies lapse before the end of their coverage period.


This article was written by Rajiv Rebello, Principal for Colva Insurance Services.


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Long Term Care Planning


How Clients Can Use Annuities to Pay for
Long-Term Care


With millions of baby boomers in or nearing retirement, the need for long-term care insurance might seem obvious. Retirees face extended life expectancy as well as rising costs for nursing home stays, assisted living facilities and home care. Nevertheless, standalone policy sales declined nearly 70% from $550 million in premiums in 2012 to just $176 million in 2017, according to LIMRA’s U.S. Individual LTCI Sales Survey.


This article was written by Donald Jay Korn, Contributing Writer for Financial Planning.


The Advisor’s View on LTC Planning


There’s never been a more important time for long-term care insurance to play a role in taking care of Americans. From an aging population to increasing national debt putting a strain on Medicare and Medicaid, health care planning in retirement is a hot topic. Financial Advisors need to be concerned about the health of LTC Insurance market and the availability of products.


This article was written by Tom Riekse Jr. ChFC® CEBS®, Managing Director of LTCI Partners.


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Medicare & Medicaid Planning


Medicare Advantage Plans Can Pay for Many LTC Services in 2019: Feds

Plans could cover adult day care, respite care and in-home support services


The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services is getting ready to let Medicare Advantage plan issuers add major new long-term care benefits to their supplemental benefits menus.


The Better Medicare Alliance, a Washington-based coalition for companies and groups with an interest in the Medicare Advantage has posted a copy of a memo that shows CMS is reinterpreting the phrase “primarily health related” when deciding whether a Medicare Advantage plan can cover a specific benefit.


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


Medicare Costs Could Rise by More Than 200% for These Retirees: Retirement Scan


An analysis by HealthView Services has found that Medicare premiums will increase for high-income retirees because of the change in the income brackets that will serve as basis for determining these premiums for their Part B and Part D coverage, according to this article on CNBC. Retirees should avoid doing a Roth conversion in the two years before applying for Medicare, as the converted amount will be taxed and added to their modified adjusted gross income. Clients with high-deductible insurance plans are advised to open a health savings account for the tax benefits, but they cannot contribute to the account once they apply for Medicare.


This article was written by Margarida Correia, associate editor for Bank Investment Consultant.


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Tax Planning


Current U.S. Tax Incentives for Higher Education Expenses


Congress has often attempted to assist Americans in paying for higher education by using the individual income tax laws. Between 1954 and 1996, eight education-related tax benefits were added to the Internal Revenue Code. The Taxpayer Relief Act of 1997, P.L. 105-34, introduced five new education tax benefits. Recently, the American opportunity tax credit greatly expanded the prior Hope scholarship credit. Today, at least 12 income tax provisions are designed to provide tax benefits for the pursuit of education.


This article was written by Peter D. Lucido J.D., LL.M., the Department Chair, Kenneth A. Winkelman, CPA, J.D., LL.M., and James M. Fornaro, CPA, Associate Professors in the Accounting, Taxation & Business Law Department of SUNY College at Old Westbury, in Old Westbury, N.Y.


Income Taxation of Trusts and Estates After
Tax Reform


On Dec. 22, 2017, President Donald Trump signed into law P.L. 115-97, known as the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. Its many new provisions include noteworthy changes to the income taxation of trusts and estates, most of which are effective for tax years 2018 through 2025 (unless otherwise noted).


This article was written by Stephen C. Wallace Jr., J.D., writer for The Tax Adviser.


The Most Important Skill for Financial Advisors, According to Clients


To attract new clients, financial advisors would do well to have tax expertise and preferably a CPA qualification. That’s according to a new report which shows that 66% of affluent and emerging affluent consumers say they prioritize tax knowledge, while 47% of the survey’s respondents say they most associate the CPA designation with financial advice.


This article was written by Michael Cohn, editor-in-chief of


The Ultra-Rich are Turning to this Key Tax-Cutting Tool


Many of the biggest beneficiaries of President Donald Trump’s tax overhaul haven’t even been born yet. The new law doubles the amount that can be passed to heirs without worrying about estate and gift taxes, to about $22 million for a married couple. But the thresholds are in place only until 2025, and the ultra-rich are turning to a key tool — the dynasty trust — to secure the financial futures of their grandchildren, great-grandchildren and beyond.


This article was written by Ben Steverman, Writer for Bloomberg News.


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Practice Management


Should I...Socialize with Clients?


Choosing whether or not to socialize with clients isn’t a simple decision. Some planners find it easy to turn friends into clients and clients into friends, whereas others prefer to keep the two groups separate.


This article was written by Ingrid Case, Financial Planning contributing writer for Financial Planning.


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Assumed Federal Rates (AFRs)


Section 7520 rate for June 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


Another Bill to Pay


A 65-year old couple retiring in 2018 will need an estimated $280,000 (present value amount stated in 2018 dollars) to pay out-of-pocket health care costs during the couple’s retirement years. The $280,000 figure assumes the couple qualifies for Medicare but does not require nursing home care. This annual forecast has risen from $225,000 in 2008 (Source: Fidelity Investments).


Better Banks Today


As of today (Monday 4/30/18), 0 banks in the United States have failed YTD and required a bailout from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. As of 4/30/10, 57 banks had failed YTD. Just 8 banks failed during all of calendar year 2017 (Source: Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC)).


Demographic Shift


By the year 2035, the projected number of Americans seniors aged 65 and up (78.0 million) will exceed the number of American children under the age of 18 (76.4 million), the first time in US history that will have occurred (Source: U.S. Census Bureau).




Healthcare spending makes up 18% of the $20 trillion US economy, equal to $11,000 per year for each of our nation’s 327 million citizens (Source: Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services).


Expensive Gas


The average price of a gallon of gasoline was $2.751 last Friday 4/20/18, up 26.5 cents YTD. The last time that the average price of gasoline nationwide was $3 a gallon was on 10/31/14 (Source: American Automobile Association (AAA)).


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Just a Few Have One


According to the National Compensation Survey for 2017, only 23% of American workers (in both the public and the private sector) have a defined benefit pension plan (Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics).


Huge Numbers


The US stock market was worth $29.6 trillion as of 12/31/17. The US bond market (including treasury, municipal, corporate, mortgage and asset-backed debt) was worth $40.8 trillion as of 12/31/17 (Source: Wilshire, Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association (SIFMA)).


Three In-a-row


The S&P 500, down on a total return basis in February and March this year, has been negative 3 or more consecutive months just 3 times in the last decade. The S&P 500 consists of 500 stocks chosen for market size, liquidity and industry group representation. It is a market value weighted index with each stock’s weight in the index proportionate to its market value (Source: BTN Research).


U.S. Births Hit Lowest Number Since 1987


American women are having children at the lowest rate on record, with the number of babies born in the U.S. last year dropping to a 30-year low, federal figures released Thursday showed. Some 3.85 million babies were born last year, down 2% from 2016 and the lowest number since 1987, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's National Center for Health Statistics. The general fertility rate for women age 15 to 44 was 60.2 births per 1,000 women -- the lowest rate since the government began tracking it more than a century ago, said Brady Hamilton, a statistician at the center. (Source: The Wall Street Journal).


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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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Complimentary Live Webinar:
IRA Beneficiary Planning


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, June 19, 2018 | 3:45pm - 4:45pm ET


This webinar will allow advisors to:

  1. Define eligible beneficiaries and qualifications
  2. Select appropriate options to the benefit of the beneficiary, estate or trust/charity
  3. Present qualified disclaimers, benefits and tax advantages

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



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


Retirement Income Strategies

By Wade D. Pfau, Ph.D., CFA®


Retirement Income Strategies is an exhaustive examination of the various retirement income strategies that can be used to assist clients in meeting their goal of maintaining their lifestyles in a retirement that may exceed 30-40 years. This course will analyze the various retirement income tools, various retirement income strategies: Systematic withdrawal plans (SWP); and bucket (time segmentation) strategies, the role of Social Security, as well as the benefits of using income annuities and life insurance. In addition, the course will also examine the importance of planning for Long Term Care (LTC) using either LTC insurance and/or hybrid LTC policies. Visit Dr. Pfau's website by clicking on the button below:


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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