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Advisor News Insight

The best revenge is massive success.




Industry News


Annuity Planning


Income Annuities Are Gaining Popularity as a Way to Make Your Money Last in Retirement. Here Are All the Pros and Cons About This Controversial Product


A new study shows how income annuities can help bridge the financial uncertainty gap in retirement by providing consumers with guaranteed income in the form of monthly “paychecks.” Specifically, researchers found that adding an income annuity boosted the chances of a retiree’s portfolio lasting until age 95 by around 20 percentage points, versus a portfolio with investments alone.


This research study was presented by Principal®, Michael Finke, Ph.D., CFP®, and Wade Pfau, Ph.D., CFA®.


Inflation-Linked SPIAs Are a Bad Deal


An annuity with benefits linked to inflation has been talked about lovingly by retirement researchers for decades. It’s the Holy Grail to help mitigate retirement consumption risk. The problem with real annuities is the inflation cost of living adjustment is super expensive relative to plain vanilla nominal annuities and those with a fixed increase (e.g., 2% per year). You can overpay for anything, and at current prices people are overpaying for inflation protection. In other words, my criticism is about market realities, not about theory.


This article was written by David Blanchett PhD, MSFS, CFA, CLU®, ChFC®, CFP®, Adjunct Professor of Wealth Management at The American College of Financial Services.


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IRA Planning


Roth IRA: Two Clocks


Roth IRAs are extremely popular, and why wouldn’t they be? Tax-free earnings over a lifetime can add up to a serious chunk of change. However, in order to receive those tax-free earnings, rules must be followed and timeframes must be met. Despite the ubiquity of Roth IRAs, there is confusion around what those rules and timeframes are. In order to maximize Roth benefits, it is imperative to understand the central guidelines around the ever-present 5-year windows. In fact, there are two primary Roth IRA clocks to consider.


This article was written by Andy Ives, CFP®, AIF®, IRA Analyst at Ed Slott and Company, LLC.


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Medicare and Medicaid Planning


2020 Medicare Premium Hike Could Wipe Out Social Security COLA for Many Retirees


The Senior Citizens League is forecasting a 6.5% jump in the 2020 Medicare Part B premium.


If The Senior Citizens League is correct in its forecasts — and it has a strong record of that — roughly half of the Social Security cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) for 2020 for the average retiree will be wiped out by the increase in Medicare Part B premiums that year.


This article was written by Bernice Napach, Senior Writer at ThinkAdvisor.


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Retirement Planning


401(k) balances climbed over last decade


Working Americans haven’t saved as much as they believe they’ll need for retirement, but employers and their workforce are starting to ramp up their contributions.


In the first quarter of 2019, the average 401(k) balance rose to $103,700 — an 8% increase from 2018’s fourth quarter, according to an analysis of Fidelity Investments’ 30 million retirement accounts, released by the investment group on Thursday. Fidelity executives say the growth is largely due to increased employee contributions and employer match programs.


This article was written by Kayla Webster, Associate Editor of Employee Benefit News and Employee Benefit Adviser.


Clients may need to save more for retirement


With longer life expectancies leading to increased health care spending later in life, experts are second-guessing the 10% savings rule.


This article was written by Andrew Shilling, Associate Editor of Financial Planning, Bank Investment Consultant, On Wall Street and Money Management Executive.


Many people retire earlier than planned, here's why


Many workers seem to have gotten the message that working longer may be necessary to boost their retirement security. The share of workers reporting that they expect to work past age 65 rose from 16 percent in 1991 to 48 percent in 2018. But such intentions often go awry; data from the Health and Retirement Study indicate that 37 percent of workers retire earlier than planned. This brief, based on a recent paper, reports on a “horse race” to identify which unexpected changes (or “shocks”) are most likely to interfere with retirement plans.


This article was written by Christy Bieber, Personal finance writer of The Motley Fool.


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Social Security Planning


Would Greater Awareness of Social Security Survivor Benefits Affect Claiming Decisions?


Most Americans enter retirement as married couples, and one spouse, typically the wife, outlives the other. Many widows lack the income needed to maintain the standard of living they had when their husbands were alive. Widows would generally have more adequate incomes if their husbands, who are typically the higher earner in the couple, delayed claiming Social Security.


This article was written by Anek Belbase and Laura D. Quinby of Center for Retirement Research at Boston College.


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Practice Management


Inspector General Warns Public About
Social Security Advisory Board-Related Scam


Protect your senior clients make them aware of this scam. The Inspector General of Social Security, is warning the public about a new variation of increasingly common government employee impersonation scams, this time involving the Social Security Advisory Board. The Advisory Board has reported that individuals are receiving scam phone calls displaying the board’s phone number on caller ID. The callers are reportedly attempting to obtain personal information, including Social Security numbers. If you receive this type of call, you should not engage with the caller or provide personal information or money in response to requests or threats.


This article was written by Andrew Cannarsa, OIG Communications Director at the
Social Security Administration (SSA).


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Assumed Federal Rates (AFRs)


§7520 Rate for June 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


Different Rules


The admission rate at Harvard for applications from the children of wealthy donors, alumni and faculty is 34%. The admission rate at Harvard for all other applications is 6% (Source: Harvard University).


Gotta Have It


Americans pay “out-of-pocket” on average just 15% of the total health care expenditures they generate in a year. “Out-of-pocket” expenses include deductibles and co-payments for services and prescription drugs but does not include the cost of health insurance premiums. The remaining 85% of annual health care expenditures is covered by insurance (Source: Health Care Cost Institute).


Impacts the Size of Contributions


The average assumed rate of return, i.e., the discount rate, used by the pension plans maintained by state and local governments has dropped from 7.9% in 2010 to 7.3% today (Source: National Association of State Retirement Administrators (NASRA)).


Long-Term Issue


The estimated Social Security shortfall today (i.e., a present value number) between the future taxes anticipated being collected and the future benefits expected to be paid out over the next 75 years is $13.9 trillion. The entire $13.9 trillion deficit could be eliminated by an immediate 2.70 percentage point increase in the combined Social Security payroll tax rate (from 12.40% to 15.10%) or an immediate 17% reduction in benefits that are paid out to current and future beneficiaries (Source: Social Security Administration (SSA) Board of Trustees).


Long-Term Prediction


In January 2019, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) forecasted annual budget deficits for the US government of at least $1 trillion for 8 consecutive years beginning with fiscal year 2022, i.e., 2022‑2029. The government has suffered an annual budget deficit of at least $1 trillion during just 4 fiscal years in history, i.e., 2009‑2012 (Source: CBO and U.S. Department of the Treasury).


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Lowest in Years


The percentage of Americans that are unemployed or are working part-time only because they are unable to find full-time work has fallen to 7.3% of the civilian labor force as of March 2019, the lowest percentage reported for this statistic since December 2000 (Source: U.S. Department of Labor).




IRS Notice 2015-49 (issued in July 2015) stated that the IRS would prevent employers from making a lump-sum payout offer to retirees who had already begun to receive monthly payments from a defined benefit pension plan but would allow lump-sum offers to be made to pension participants who had yet to begin the monthly payouts. But IRS Notice 2019‑18 (issued 3/06/19) changes the previous IRS position, now allowing employers to make a lump-sum payment offer to any pension participant (Source: Internal Revenue Service (IRS)).


Planning for the Future


53% of 2,217 American workers surveyed in February 2019 say they would not work for an employer who did not offer some form of a retirement plan. 68% of this group expressed “concerns” that they may come up short in their efforts to accumulate funds for a “comfortable retirement” (Source: Prudential American Workers Survey).


Repurchase the Stock


Companies in the S&P 500 spent $806 billion on stock buybacks in 2018, breaking the old record for share buybacks of $589 billion set in 2007 (Source: S&P).


Stronger Banks


As of 4/15/19, the US banking system had gone 16 months since the nation’s last bank failure took place on 12/15/17. That’s the longest stretch without a bank bailout in our country since February 2007 or more than a dozen years ago. Over the last 10 years, 480 banks failed nationwide, including 157 during calendar year 2010 alone (Source: Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC)).


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Stuff Happens


45% of American adults surveyed are “concerned” that a major health event (e.g., surgery, sickness or disability) could force them into a personal bankruptcy filing (Source: Gallup).


There Have Been a Dozen Tumbles


From its all-time closing high of 2946 on 4/30/19, the S&P 500 has fallen 2.2% to its closing value of 2881 as of last Friday 5/10/19. During the index’s bull run that started on 3/10/09, the S&P 500 has withstood 12 drops of at least 5%, including 6 drops of at least 10% and 3 drops of at least 15% (Source: BTN Research).




58% of Americans have not executed a will and other estate planning documents, e.g., a medical directive that specifies what actions (if any) should be taken to prolong an individual’s life (Source:


Worth It?


The average college graduate with a bachelor’s degree will earn $2.8 million over his/her lifetime. The average high school graduate with no additional higher education will earn $1.5 million over his/her lifetime (Source: Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce).


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Useful Financial Website


The Big Picture


The Big Picture app lets financial advisors build the retirement portfolios of their choice, and back-test them over rolling historical periods. Advisors can illustrate for clients the success rates, safe withdrawal rates, and portfolio longevities associated with a given asset allocation and expense ratio.


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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


“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


The Advisor’s Guide to Social Insurance Programs


The Advisor’s Guide to Social Insurance Programs is an educational tool to help advisors through the maze of programs, rules and regulations that affect many if not all of their aging Baby Boomer clients, their spouses and dependents. The course is broken down into three sections to give the advisor an understanding of the various benefits of the Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid programs.


Self-Study CE Course List


As a top-notch continuing education provider we:

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  • 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

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


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BEST Information


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