Allianz Life is expanding its variable annuity offerings with a product intended to appeal to people who want to diversify beyond large US companies. The Allianz Index Advantage Income Variable Annuity contract offers exposure to a variety of European stocks and the stocks of smaller US companies, as well as large US firms.
Annuity provider Athene Holding said it anticipates bolstering its distribution and accelerating growth after S&P Global upgraded its credit rating from A- to A. "We believe this ratings upgrade will further strengthen our multichannel distribution model, and we look forward to establishing new partnerships and engaging as a financial solutions provider to a broader market," said CEO Jim Belardi.
Retirees concerned about a downturn in stocks should consider buying annuities for guaranteed income or taking out reverse mortgages on their homes, said Wade Pfau, professor of retirement income at the American College of Financial Services. Doing so allows retirees to take greater risk in their stock portfolios, which usually produces higher returns over time, he said.
The IRS in a private letter ruled that a 401(k) plan sponsor can make nonelective contributions to student-loan repayment for eligible employees. Although the ruling only applies to this specific case, the letter offers guidance as to how the IRS views such plans in general, Rebecca Moore writes.
The US central bank is likely to raise interest rates once more this year, said Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta
President Raphael Bostic. He also said US trade policy may be hurting investment.
The effective tax rate on qualified real estate investment trust dividends for high-net-worth individuals will fall from 37% to 29.6% in 2018, notes Brian Schultz of Plante Moran. That makes this a good time for advisors and clients to consider REITs "if they'd like to gain tax-advantaged income and real estate exposure in their investment portfolios," he writes.
Investors in the US stock market face a number of risks that are tied to global issues, writes Mohamed El-Erian of Allianz. The top four risks are uncertainty in the global economy, trade disputes, the actions of central banks and the currency crisis in Turkey, El-Erian writes.
Financial Planning outlines the top 20 states for retirees to live in based on a recent survey by Bankrate. The study used government data and other sources to rank all 50 states on cost of living, crime, culture, health care, taxes, weather and well-being.
Chaiwoo Lee and Joseph Coughlin, both of the MIT AgeLab, recently examined Americans' attitudes toward retirement. Advisers can use these findings to better understand clients' emotional needs at different age levels, which can help when giving financial planning advice.
The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority says the number of registered representatives and firms in financial planning has declined in recent years, but revenue increased 14% industrywide from 2015 to 2017. The 2018 FINRA Industry Snapshot reports industry revenue at $309 billion in 2017, compared with $271 billion two years earlier.
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