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Reach Out To Clients During This Medicare Open Enrollment Period

Upcoming changes to drug costs, plan options, premiums present advisor opportunities   During this year’s Medicare Open Enrollment Period, your clients might want your help. That’s because each year Medicare health and drug plans change their products, including costs, what’s covered, and what pharmacies and providers are in their network. Even if you don’t directly offer health insurance or Medicare plans, as an advisor doing retirement planning you should have a working knowledge about the basics, because most Medicare premiums are deducted out of a retiree’s Social Security check. Medicare Open Enrollment During open enrollment from October 15 through December 7,
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Categories: Blog Posts.

Indexed Universal Life (IUL) Insurance – A Primer

  Here’s what you need to know about IUL, Indexed Universal Life insurance.   Strong IUL sales in 2018 “After three consecutive quarters of declines, individual life insurance sales growth rebounded in the second quarter of 2018,” said Ashley Durham, associate research director, LIMRA Insurance Research. “Indexed universal life drove the comeback with a 15 percent increase over second quarter of 2017.”1 IULs are not for everyone People who are not in good health may not qualify for IUL; underwriting is required. Look for uncapped policies At Shurwest, we provide due-diligence support for our advisor partners, including considering uncapped policies
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Categories: Blog Posts.

Solidifying the Foundation of Brand Recognition

Your firm’s mission, identity and values can shape your brand and what it says about you.   How do you quickly convey trust, value and credibility to prospective clients and the marketplace? With your brand. That’s right. Your brand says a lot about who you are. It speaks to your mission, identity and values. When they are aligned with your brand, it sends a signal that clients instantly connect with about how you can help provide solutions to their problems, who you really are and what’s important to you. “Branding is the expression of the essential truth or value of
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Categories: Blog Posts.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Outsourcing Investment Management

According to a study by Cerulli Associates published in late 2017, approximately 54% of CFPs (Certified Financial Planners) outsource portfolio management, and 46% keep it in-house.1 Advisors are using outsourced “strategist firms” for “asset allocation, portfolio construction, tax management, risk management and the active monitoring of investments for different types of portfolios,” and outsourcing has continued to increase in popularity, according to Envestnet.2 Michael Kitces said in February that TAMPs (Turnkey Asset Management Platforms) and outsourced investment management “are the future for most advisors. TAMP solutions were first launched in the 1980s to actually handle the process of managing a
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Categories: Blog Posts.

Bad Clients versus Good Clients

When to Fire Bad Clients and How to Better Serve Good Ones Remember that old question, “Would you like to hear the good news, or the bad news?” When it comes to firing bad clients, it’s all good news, because releasing them will free up your time to provide better service to your good clients. The Definition of a Bad Client So what defines a bad client versus a good client? Financial Planning1 recently asked financial advisors just that. It’s definitely not how much money they have. Advisors said they typically get a great deal of joy out of helping
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Categories: Blog Posts.

Are Your Clients’ Portfolios Positioned for Principal Protection and Potential Investment Growth?

Shurwest’s bond alternative whitepaper outlines key fixed income risks retirement investors could face.   In recent weeks, the yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury note has been declining. Good news for bond investors. As yields fall, prices rise and the trend of recent weeks may have given those following the fixed income market a brief respite from the volatility the Treasury market has experienced for much of this year. The 10-year note’s yield rose above 3.00% in May for the first time in four years but has retraced ground since then. The day-to-day movements in market interest rates like that
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Categories: Blog Posts.

Are You Talking to Your Clients About Medicare?

If you talk to clients about taxes, higher income could mean higher Medicare premium surcharges. Perhaps your clients are already set with Medicare coverage and even have a Medicare supplement or Medicare Advantage plan to offset the potential costs of added deductibles and/or prescription drug coverage. But if you offer tax planning as part of your services, a discussion about Medicare ought to be a big part of the tax-efficient and tax-minimization conversation. Here’s why:  If your clients find themselves in a higher income bracket, they’ll have to pay more than the standard premiums most retirees pay for Medicare Part
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Categories: Blog Posts.

Highlights in the Growth and Evolution of Fixed Indexed Annuities

June is National Annuity Awareness Month. Back in 2010, the National Association for Fixed Annuities designated this month for awareness to help educate Americans on the important role annuities play as part of a secure retirement savings plan. More than 20 years ago, the first fixed indexed annuity (FIA) was launched by Keyport Life with the assistance of Genesis Financial. Since then, FIAs have evolved to include the addition of alternative indexes, riders that provide guaranteed retirement income and uncapped growth designs subject to participation rates and spreads. Here are several highlights since the first equity-linked indexed annuity known as
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Categories: Blog Posts.

Despite More Control of the Purse, Women May Still Represent an Underserved Segment for Advisors

Are you missing out on one of the wealthiest populations set to control even more wealth in the coming years? Last year, the number of female billionaires rose by 18% to 321, outpacing the 14.5% growth in the male billionaire population and increasing women’s share of the global billionaire population to 11.7%.1 That’s a global perspective, but If you don’t already know about the decision making and financial clout of women in the United States then a brief overview might be worthwhile. Here’s what some of the numbers look like in the U.S. Women control 51%, or $14 trillion, of
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Categories: Blog Posts.

What In the World Is an FMO or IMO?

As if the insurance industry wasn’t confusing enough, Field Marketing Organization (FMO), Independent (or Insurance) Marketing Organization (IMO), Independent Distribution Company (IDC), National Marketing Organization (NMO), General Agency (GA), Brokerage Agency, or Wholesaler are just some of the terms used—often interchangeably—to describe firms that are intermediaries between insurance carriers and agents/advisors.   But before we get into what they are and what they do, here is a little background about the insurance industry itself.   Consolidation of Insurance Carriers By the end of 2016, there were 797 life insurance companies in business in the United States, representing a steady decline from
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Categories: Blog Posts.