Retirement is not a one-size-fits-all proposition, with many activity and income scenarios possible, writes Mark Huffman. The key is anticipating financial needs and finding a way to meet them knowing Social Security isn't adequate.
The Everplans website, in existence since 2010, has upgraded to improve estate planning. The site can store information and instructions, benefiting not only the user but also the family, friends, associates and advisers in the event of death.
Advisors should ensure they have thorough knowledge of buffer annuities, which combine characteristics of indexed and variable annuities, write William Byrnes and Robert Bloink. "Because the buffer annuity is only a few years old, it is especially important for advisors to become educated in the product to ensure that interested clients are getting a suitable product that they understand fully in order to prevent unpleasant surprises down the road," they write.
Annuities, life insurance, stocks and bonds can be valuable tools in dealing with longevity risk in retirement, says Michael Finke of the American College of Financial Services.
Among four countries transitioning from defined-benefit to defined-contribution retirement systems, the UK remains DB-focused and has the highest satisfaction gap between retirees and pre-retirees, according to Vanguard research. The report concludes, however, that either type of system can work well to support retirees and that both systems can complement each other.
More than half of advisors specialize in client niches, according to a survey by CEG Worldwide. One financial planner says an advisor should have no more than five specialties, but another says turning away a client who doesn't fit into a predetermined niche would be unwise.
Clients planning for retirement can adopt tax-efficient strategies to boost savings. Possibilities include Roth conversions, after-tax contributions to 401(k)s, contributions to health savings accounts and nondeductible contributions to individual retirement accounts.
Clear client communication is critical in times like these, when markets are uncertain, writes Gary Manguso, vice president of product strategy at FTJ FundChoice. He outlines strategies that not only fulfill the spirit of the fiduciary rule but also help create stronger bonds with clients.
Having difficult, but necessary, discussions with clients is a skill all advisers should aim to master, writes G. Richard Shell, a legal studies and business ethics professor at the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School. Key to these discussions is the ability to negotiate, and Shell offers three tips on how to enhance this ability.
Refinancing made up just 46.2% of mortgage applications in the week ending Feb. 17, its smallest share since November 2008, the Mortgage Bankers Association reported. Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen's testimony before Congress last week reportedly prompted an increase in Treasury yields and mortgage rates and a drop in refinancing applications.
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