Individual retirement accounts and 401(k)s have become go-to planning tools, but they can result in much higher post-retirement modified adjusted gross income and unexpected tax pain, writes Bryan Kuderna. He urges clients to "give serious thought to 401(k) plan and traditional IRA alternatives that offer the potential for tax-free distributions, greater liquidity and MAGI exemptions."
Advisors can take steps to "transform affluent client relationships into a true partnership," writes Matt Oechsli. These include knowing as much as possible about a client's family circumstances and being involved in them, and not assuming all is good if they have not heard from a client in a while.
Financial author Sara Grillo shares strategies that advisors should and should not use when prospecting for female clients. She warns against joining female-focused social media groups just to drop in marketing and encourages advisors to create content about women's financial issues.
Estate-planning experts Marty Shenkman and Gideon Rothschild discuss how advisors can help their single clients benefit from estate-tax exemptions. "Though portability is an enormously advantageous tool when coupled with the drastically increased exemptions, married couples aren't the only ones who can benefit," Shenkman says.
Recent changes to the rules governing Section 529 Education Savings Accounts present opportunities that may make more clients interested in them, according to Robert Bloink and William Byrnes. These include the ability to use the funds for qualified elementary- or secondary-school expenses, and tax-free rollovers to an ABLE account -- designed to cover expenses for people with disabilities -- for the same beneficiary or a family member.
Chris Hoyt, a law professor at the University of Missouri-Kansas City, discussed strategies that help clients make charitable gifts to save income and estate taxes at the 53rd Heckerling Institute conference. Among them, he explained the benefits of individual retirement account charitable rollovers and charitable contribution deductions for transfers of income in respect of a decedent.
Forty-five percent of those polled for Charles Schwab's 2018 Consumer Digital Demands survey predict that robo-advisers will have the most dramatic effect on finance. "Clients will use technology, but they still need you to help them 'train' in this digital age," writes Ana Trujillo Limón.
Professor Barbara O'Neill summarizes research, trends and policy issues on topics in financial advising that came up in 2018. "As always, financial practitioners need to stay current on the ever-changing financial landscape and how it affects their own personal finances and that of their clients," she writes.
The latest federal data showed the number of people enrolled in Medicare Advantage plans reached 22.4 million as of January 2019, up by 6.8% from January 2018. Enrollment increased at a slower rate compared with 2016 and 2017, but many insurers saw significant enrollment growth.
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