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Advisor News Insight

If you focus on success, you'll have stress...




Industry News


Annuity Planning


Are Annuities the Best Strategy to Fund One’s Retirement?


Suppose you are retired, or soon-to-be retired, and you have no reason to leave a bequest. You have no offspring, or they are financially independent – or you want them to be – and you have no charities to which you wish to leave money. You just want to assure yourself of as much income as possible while you are alive. What is your best course of action? My research shows it’s almost impossible to beat an annuity.


This article was written by Michael Edesess, Ph.D. research associate of EDHEC–Risk Institute.


Brandon Berkenfeld et al. v. Gary R. Lenet et al.. No. 18-1106 (8 April 2019) 4th Circuit Addresses Financial Adviser Liability Re Advice on Inherited Annuities


In Berkenfeld, the district court found that the plaintiffs were barred from recovery under Maryland’s contributory negligence law in case involving the advice of a financial adviser on inherited annuities. The 4th Circuit found that Maryland has a high bar for taking questions of contributory negligence from a factfinder and plaintiffs’ evidence offers a basis for a reasonable factfinder to determine that they justifiably relied on Defendants’ advice. Accordingly, it reverses the district court’s grant of summary judgment in favor of defendants.


This information from Leimberg Information Services Inc.


Protected Lifetime Income: A New Formula for Retirement


Americans are living longer, raising concerns that they may outlive their savings in retirement. This white paper from the Alliance for Lifetime Income analyzes how securing protected lifetime income through an annuity reduces longevity risk.


This article was written by Dr. Wade Pfau, Ph.D., CFA©, Professor of Retirement Income, The American College of Financial Services and Research Fellow for Alliance for Lifetime Income and Emilio Pardo, Co-Chairman, Operating Committee for Alliance for Lifetime Income.


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Estate Planning


California Estate Tax


California Senate Bill 378, introduced by Senator Weiner proposes to repeal the statutory probation on transfer taxes which was added by an initiative measure in 1982; would require approval by the voters to go into effect.

  • Apply on/after 1/1/21
  • Estate, Gift, & GST tax
  • Tax equal to federal tax, but with a $3.5M exemption (not inflation adjusted)
  • Credit for all federal & estate gift taxes paid

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IRA Planning


Avoid these 7 costly IRA rollover mistakes


Not everything can be rolled over to an IRA. In order to avoid expensive tax problems, advisors need to know which funds are not rollover eligible. When ineligible rollovers occur, two bad things happen. First, the funds withdrawn are usually taxable (except for after-tax funds) — and possibly subject to a 10% early distribution penalty. Second, the funds rolled over are considered excess contributions and may be subject to a 6% penalty. However, there are many lesser-known examples of ineligible rollovers.


This article was written by Ed Slott, CPA and President of Ed Slott and Company, LLC.


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Long-Term Care Planning


Long-Term Care Insurance Trends in 2019


On March 11, 2019, Genworth Financial suspended all sales of traditional, individual policies of long-term care insurance (or LTCI). A move like this is significant in the industry, since Genworth has the largest number of policyholders of any insurer.


This article was written by Robert B. Fleming, Elder Law Attorney for Fleming & Curti, PLC.


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Medicare and Medicaid Planning


Medigap and Medicare Advantage – How Do They Differ?


There are two options available to you when you go on Medicare – Medigap and Medicare Advantage. Although many people mistakenly lump the two together, they are very different paths in almost every way. So, what is the difference in Medigap and Medicare Advantage?


This article was published by


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Retirement Planning


Age Targets: How Much Should You Have Saved for Retirement By Now?


There is a lot of research showing that people tend to rely on approximations or rules of thumb when it comes to financial decisions. With this in mind, many financial firms publish savings benchmarks that show the ideal levels of savings at different ages relative to an individual’s income. A savings benchmark isn’t a replacement for comprehensive planning, but it is a quick way to gauge whether you’re on track. It’s much better than the alternative some people use — blindly guessing! More importantly, it can act as a catalyst to take action and start saving more.


This article was written by Roger A. Young, CFP©, Vice President and Senior Financial Planner for T. Rowe Price.


Determining Withdrawal Rates Using
Historical Data


I don’t think there is any advisor who is reading this newsletter who has not heard of the seminal article written by William P. Bengen, “Determining Withdrawal Rates Using Historical Data,” published in the October 1994 issue of the Journal of Financial Planning. The strategy is to set a dollar number as a percentage of the investor’s initial portfolio to be withdrawn in the first year, and then to increase that dollar number for inflation each year thereafter. But have you read it in its entirety.


This article was written by William P. Bengen, a retired financial adviser.


The 19th Annual Transamerica Retirement Study


The Annual Transamerica Retirement Survey explores attitudes about retirement and retirement readiness among American workers. What Is “Retirement?” Three Generations Prepare for Older Age highlights differences and similarities among Baby Boomers, Generation X and Millennials. The study is one of the largest and longest-running of its kind, with nearly 6,000 respondents in 2018. The survey was conducted by The Harris Poll, an independent research company. The robust, nationally representative sample enables TCRS to explore many different demographic segments, including workers by generation.


This survey was distributed by Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies.


The 4 Percent Rule is Not Safe in a Low-Yield World


More recent articles such as one in 2013 by Dr. Michael Finke, Ph.D., CFP©, Dr. Wade D. Pfau, Ph.D., CFA© and Dr. David M. Blanchett, Ph.D., CFA, CFP©, have argued that a 4% withdrawal rate is too high to be considered “safe” in the current low-interest environment. “The success of the 4% rule in the U.S. may be an historical anomaly, and clients may wish to consider their retirement income strategies more broadly than relying solely on systematic withdrawals from a volatile portfolio.”


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Social Security Planning


Easily Access Your Social Security Benefit Statement


The Benefit Statement is also known as the SSA-1099 or the SSA-1042S. Now you have the ability to download it anytime and anywhere you want using our online services.


The Social Security 2100 Act & Fact Sheet


Representative John Larson (D-CT), Chair of the Social Security Subcommittee of the House Ways and Means Committee, announced the introduction of the Social Security 2100 Act.


Update on Social Security reform


With the Social Security trust fund scheduled to run dry in 2034, a congressional panel holds hearings, but no action is expected this year.


Well, it's a start. A House panel held hearings in mid-March on a bill that would expand Social Security benefits and stabilize the long-term finances of the nation's premier retirement system.


This article was written by Mary Beth Franklin, Contributing Editor at InvestmentNews.


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Tax Planning


2019 Tax Rates by State


Every year, the average U.S. household pays more than $7,800 in federal income taxes, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. And while we’re all faced with that same obligation, there is significant difference when it comes to state and local taxes. Taxpayers in the most tax-expensive states, for instance, pay three times more than those in the cheapest states. WalletHub, ranks the states by their combined state and local tax rates.


This article was written by John S. Kiernan, Senior Writer & Editor for WalletHub.


Facts About the Qualified Business Income Deduction


From the IRS website, answers to 33 questions about the new qualified business income (QBI) deduction, also known as the section 199A deduction, that may be available to individuals, including many owners of sole proprietorships, partnerships and S corporations. FS-2019-8 outlines the IRC Section 199A deduction, which allows varying deduction amounts for qualified business income, qualified real estate investment trust dividends, and qualified publicly traded partnership income.


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Practice Management


Fred Knows 401k Fiduciary


Show of hands—does any advisor feel they have a good grasp of what’s happening on the fiduciary front? Anyone? Especially as the SEC picks through the rubble after the Fifth Circuit torpedoed the DOL’s Conflict of Interest Rule? Fred Reish is about as close as one can get to someone “in the know.” His expertise and experience have him (always) in demand. Here’s what he has to say about the latest developments.


This article was written by John Sullivan, Editor-In-Chief for


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Assumed Federal Rates (AFRs)


§7520 Rate for May 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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Useful Financial Website




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”




DATE: MONDAY, MAY 20, 2019


(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


Retirement Planning


This course has been developed to give the advisor (licensed agent) a complete guide in the retirement planning strategy process. The course will focus on the five step retirement planning process and examine the various risk factors needed to be considered when developing a retirement plan for your client. It will examine the various sources of retirement income based on the three-legged stool (Social Security, Employer Sponsored Retirement Plans, Savings and IRAs) and introduce a fourth leg to the stool consisting of insurance products and working in retirement. Also addressed is the complex topic of retirement plan distributions and the many rules and regulations that surround this issue. Finally, the course addresses the subject of health care and long-term care planning in retirement with a discussion of Health Savings Accounts, Medicare, and LTC Planning with the use of LTCI and Hybrid LTCI policies as well as the use of reverse mortgages.


Self-Study CE Course List


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 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

“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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BEST Information


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