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Advisor News Insight

Happy Labor Day



Industry News


2018 Women’s Choice Award | Financial


Honoring Advisors & Firms Women Can Trust


The following featured advisors and financial firms have not only met the highest standards for qualification, but they also proudly carry the Women’s Choice Award seal signifying their commitment to empower the female investor.


IRA Planning


5 IRA planning strategies to use now


Here’s what will happen next year at tax time. Your client’s accountant will tell your client about all the tax planning that could have been done last year. But by then, it will already be too late.


That’s because, unfortunately, many tax preparers are history teachers. They tell you what already happened. Nobody wants to hear woulda, coulda, shoulda.


How about changing this annual annoying scenario? Instead, be a proactive financial planner right now. It’s more essential than ever before. With all the new tax law changes, every advisor should alert clients about what can be done now to help them avoid taxpayers’ remorse next year.


This article was written by Ed Slott, nationally recognized professional speaker, personal finance columnist, accomplished author and President of Ed Slott and Company, LLC.


When to Show HNW Clients the Roth IRA
Back Door


If you have high-net-worth clients who are looking for ways to put away the maximum possible in their retirement accounts, it may be time to show them how they can supersize their retirement accounts with the mega-backdoor Roth IRA contribution strategy.


This article was written by Kimberly Foss, CFP, CPWA Financial Planning Columnist, Author and Founder and President of Empyrion Wealth Management.


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Medicare & Medicaid Planning


New Medicare ID cards


Medicare has competed mailing new Medicare IDs to the first two groups. Medicare beneficiaries who live in Alaska, American Samoa, California, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Guam, Hawaii, Maryland, Northern Mariana Islands, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Virginia, or West Virginia; they should have received their new Medicare ID card. If they live in one of these states and did not receive their new card, they can call Medicare at 1-800-633-4227.


July mailing of Medicare cards: Arkansas, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Wisconsin, Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, and Vermont.


Reminder: CMS has reported many incidents of fraud.


Part D Premiums for 2019


The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) recently announced that the 2019 projected national average weighted monthly premium for Medicare Part D prescription drug plans will decrease to $32.50 from the 2018 average premium of $33.59. This average premium was calculated using stand-alone Medicare Part D prescription drug plans (PDPs) and Medicare Advantage plans with prescription drug coverage (MAPDs) combined and weighted by enrollment – so you may find that 2019 stand-alone Medicare Part D plans actually have a higher average premium when not considering the $0 or low-premium MAPDs.


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Retirement Planning


MassMutual Women’s Retirement Risk Study


To better understand the investment preferences and philosophies of women approaching retirement as well as women retirees, MassMutual commissioned a survey of pre-retirees within 15 years of retirement and of retirees no more than 15 years into retirement.


This article was presented by MassMutual.


Striking Similarities and Disconcerting Disconnects: Employers, Workers and Retirement Security 18th Annual Transamerica Retirement Survey


Only 16 percent of employers are “very confident” that their employees will be able to achieve a financially secure retirement, according to a study released today, Striking Similarities and Disconcerting Disconnects: Employers, Workers, and Retirement Security, by nonprofit Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies® (“TCRS”). As alarming as this might be, particularly given the important role of employers, the survey finding is consistent with the 18 percent of workers who are “very confident” that they will be able to fully retire with a comfortable lifestyle.


This survey was prepared by Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies® (TCRS).


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Social Security Planning


Maximize Social Security Benefits for
Surviving Spouses


Couples are advised to coordinate their Social Security claiming strategies to maximize the amount of retirement benefits they will receive, according to this article from Kiplinger. A report shows that 82% of surviving spouses could have collected a higher benefit if they restricted their application to survivor benefits and waited until the age of 70 to claim their own retirement benefits. Despite the recent law changes, surviving spouses still have the ability to restrict their application for survivor benefits and allow their own retirement benefit to continue to grow.


This article was written by Lee Conrad, Editor of Bank Investment Consultant.


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Tax Planning


IRS New IRS 199A Regulations


The IRS has released the final 199A regulations.


Understanding the Tax Torpedo and Its Implications for Various Retirees


Despite Trump’s high-profile tax win, the total impact of taxes on a retiree can be absolutely devastating, according to new research published in the Journal of Financial Planning. The article written by William Reichenstein, Ph.D., CFA, Professor Emeritus, Baylor University and William Meyer, CEO of Retire Inc., notes that the impact of strategically combining a Social Security claiming strategy together with a tax-efficient withdrawal strategy may extend the longevity of a retiree's financial portfolio by more than six years.


This article was written by Dr. William Reichenstein, CFA and Principal - Research and William Meyer, Founder and Managing Principal of Social Security Solutions Inc. and Retiree Inc..


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Practice Management


SEC Reg. BI Stricter Than Fiduciary, Will Cause Brokers to Flee: Peirce


The Securities and Exchange Commission’s proposed Regulation Best Interest, or Reg BI, for brokers is a “more stringent” standard than the fiduciary standard outlined in the agency’s proposed interpretation for advisors, and could “exacerbate” the trend of brokers fleeing Financial Industry Regulatory Authority oversight, according to SEC Commissioner Hester Peirce.


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


Young Advisors Prefer Face-To-Face Contact With Wholesalers: Study


When dealing with wholesalers, retail advisors gravitate either toward technology or traditional face-to-face contact based on the distribution channel in which they sell, according to a new study.


This article was written by Cyril Tuohy, freelance Writer based in Pennsylvania.


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Assumed Federal Rates (AFRs)


§7520 Rate for September 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


Aging Population


There are 2.8 workers (paying payroll taxes) for every one Social Security beneficiary in 2018, i.e., there are 36 beneficiaries for every 100 covered workers today. The program is projecting that there will be 2.2 workers for every one Social Security beneficiary in the year 2035, i.e., there will be 46 beneficiaries for every 100 covered workers in 2035 (Source: Social Security Trustees 2018 Report).


Be Prepared for This


The average American household, even after the benefit of Medicare coverage, spends $197,000 in “out-of-pocket” health care costs during retirement. This figure does not include any costs relating to nursing home care (Source: Anthony Webb and Natalia Zhivan of the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College).


Kids Cost Money


The annual household costs of a family with 2 adults and 2 children is 140% of the annual household costs of a family with 2 adults and no children (Source: Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)).


Preparing for the Future


64% of 1,002 American workers surveyed in January 2018 are “somewhat confident” or “very confident” that they will have accumulated sufficient assets to sustain a “comfortable” retirement. That result is an increase of 10% from the same survey conducted in January 2009 (Source: EBRI 2018 Retirement Confidence Survey).


Top Shelf Income


One out of every 22 individual income tax returns (4.5%) filed for tax year 2015 reported adjusted gross income of at least $200,000 (Source: Internal Revenue Service (IRS)).


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Useful Financial Website(s)


CFA Institute


The mission of CFA® Institute is served by generating value for core investment management professionals and engaging with the core investment management industry to advance ethics, market integrity, and professional standards of practice, which collectively contributes value to society.


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Advisor Survey


Value-Added Continuing Education
Survey Results


Our 2018 Value-added Continuing Education (CE) Survey is now closed. Our survey was distributed to over 120k financial and insurance advisors. We will have a final survey report available soon. Until then, here a few highlights and a downloadable “Snapshot” of the results:


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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:
Roth IRA


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, September 18, 2018 | 3:45pm - 4:45pm ET


This webinar will allow advisors to:

  1. Relate the history of the Roth IRA
  2. Review special sections of IRC § 408A
  3. Apply annual contribution limits conversion rules; and distribution rules during and after the participant’s lifetime

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 Retirement Planning


This course has been developed to give the financial and insurance advisor (licensed agent) a complete guide in the retirement planning process. It 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.


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 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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