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Americans still don't trust the stock market More than five years after the financial crisis, the average American is still wary of the stock market, according to a survey (4/21/14) Get ready for a major market move As VIX, the CBOE S&P 500 Volatility Index, plumbs new lows, many market observers are preparing for a major market move (5/28/14) Corporate Bond Spread at Narrowest Since 2007 Before Jobs Data The extra yield investors demand to hold corporate bonds over Treasuries was the narrowest in six years recently (1/5/14) 9 reasons the U.S. economy is stronger than you think Opinion: It might be time to push aside the gloom-and-doom crowd (5/5/14) It’s Fed expectations that are pushing Treasury yields down, analyst says There’s no shortage of explanations for why Treasury yields have fallen recently with 10-year Treasury note yields plunging below 2.50% for the first time this year (5/15/14) Stocks are telling you a bear market is coming Opinion: Expect a choppy, sloppy end to the six-year bull run (5/18/14) 6 investment techniques of money managers Here's a look at a half-dozen common investment strategies among fund managers (5/15/14) Stock Market Stability - The Calm Before... Sunny Days The stock market’s calmness is a reason for confidence, not concern. Economic and financial fundamentals continue to improve and the first quarter earnings reports revealed no hidden problems. With room for more improvement and investors not yet back to normal stock allocations, the market’s path of least resistance is up (5/18/14)

“What do you do with a mistake: recognize it, admit it, learn from it, forget it.” – Dean Smith

Role of Social Security in retirement plans could change Social Security is a safety net many hardworking Americans depend on when they get ready to retire, but just as the baby boomer generation is reaching that stage, experts are expressing concern they could be in for a surprise (4/25/14) Protect your heirs from an IRA tax trap Worried about your adult children blowing through their inheritance? Two strategies can help holders of individual retirement accounts curb an heir’s impulse to “cash out.” (4/28/14) The retirement-income crisis, in one chart Article features a chart that shows the ratio of wealth to income, by age. Concludes that current retirees are not as prepared as past generations (4/30/14) About to Retire? Three Big Questions Market Cycles, Taxes and Fixed Costs Should Figure in Your Planning (5/4/14) 7 tips to make retirement savings last Even if you were smart (or lucky) enough to have a comfortable retirement nest egg, you may still worry that it may not last you through what may be 30 years of retirement. As many retirees and pre-retirees saw in 2008, one unexpected financial disaster can devastate your life savings (5/7/14) Most retirees fail to have an income plan Among retirees who are withdrawing money from their retirement accounts, about half of them are doing it without a strategy in place, according to a new survey (5/6/14) IRA Rollovers Increase; Survey Predicts Continued Growth Over the next four years, assets held in individual retirement accounts will make up 35.4 percent of all retirement market assets, an increase from the estimated 32.1 percent in retirement market assets in 2014, according to a report (5/9/14) Social Security: How a Government Pension Reduces Benefits If your client or your client's spouse is a public sector employee and one of them expects to claim spousal Social Security benefits, be sure to read the fine print because the Social Security Administration may limit expected benefits (5/12/14)

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The Top 10 Sources of Retirement Income Workers expect to pay for retirement differently than current retirees (5/13/14) Social Security: How Working in Retirement Can Increase Your Benefits Working after full retirement age doesn't just mean more income in your pocket. It can also lead to higher Social Security benefits (5/18/14) 7 retirement planning risks you may not have considered The American College’s RICP® curriculum includes a list of 27 risks that retirees face. Beyond basics like market risk and interest rate risk, here are a few that you may find valuable (5/12/14) How to get more money from Social Security The words “Social Security” conjure two immediate questions for most Americans: "Will I get my benefits?" and, if so, "At what age should I elect to receive my first check?" (5/19/14)

Can You Afford 35 Years in Retirement? Whether you expect to live to 100, you should be confident you'll have enough income to maintain the kind of retirement lifestyle you want. The best way to gain this confidence is to have a plan in place to fund your retirement and make it last. (5/17/14) How to factor your lifespan into retirement planning Video: Retirees should consider their longevity when making plans for how to take Social Security benefits and invest in annuities. The Wall Street Journal columnists Jonathan Clements and Jason Zweig explain (5/16/14) Do Women Need Guaranteed Retirement Income Products? Lower lifetime earnings and longer life expectancies put women at a disadvantage when it comes to a secure retirement. One solution: helping them turn workplace retirement account balances into guaranteed income streams for life (5/23/14)

Great Advice On Running Client Events It is no secret that advisors build their business with client referrals. One tactic that can be very successful in gaining new leads is client events. (5/12/14) 7 Rules for Serving Female Clients As financial services firms and advisors seek to identify the demographic trends that will shape the landscape of our industry over both the near and long term, more and more of them have come to realize the growing prominence of women in our economy (5/8/14) 5 Organizational Obsessions Every Entrepreneur Should Have to Stay Sane Most small business owners often wear many hats, and as a result can take on an overwhelming number of tasks and responsibilities. (April 2014) Indexed Life And Annuity Sales Off To Strong Start In 2014 First quarter indexed annuity sales are down 5.8% when compared to the previous quarter, but production increased nearly 39.0% when compared with the same period last year. “2014 is off to a great start!” exclaimed Sheryl J. Moore, President and CEO of both Moore Market Intelligence and Wink, Inc (5/23/14) 3 social-media myths debunked Social media is a great marketing tool for financial advisors. The challenge is in knowing what to believe and what not to believe. With that in mind, here are three of the biggest social-media myths debunked (5/17/14) Life insurance industry innovations worth a look The May issue of National Underwriter Life & Health will mark the inaugural "Insurance industry product innovation" feature. Within it, they profiled innovations in the life, health and annuity market (4/23/14)

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What is a Fixed Indexed Annuity? Great video that explains the basics on Indexed Annuities (2014) Bonds Cannot Match Immediate Annuity Benefits The best retirement plans use annuities to guarantee lifetime income with a portion of the retirement savings and invest elsewhere with the rest of the savings. (4/28/14) FIAs Are The Solution For Worst-Case Scenarios Wealth manager Michael Fein is no stranger to variable annuities. But he has decided that he likes fixed index annuities better because “you can use them for worst-case scenarios.” (5/7/14) Shaq's Still Scoring in Retirement O’Neal doesn’t need Gold Bond’s money or the rest of his $20 million endorsement income, and he says he doesn’t count it. When he first came into the NBA, his money manager Lester Knispel persuaded him to sock away more than a million dollars a year in annuities. That income is now enough to live on, O’Neal says (4/24/14) 8 reasons fixed-income annuities belong in your IRA If you own a traditional IRA, there's an investment that's often overlooked that can be a natural fit in the right circumstances. It's called a fixed-income annuity (5/12/14) Looking for a lovable annuity? Try these Don't be deterred from considering annuities because of the bad rap that the kind called deferred variable annuities get or by people who say they hate annuities. As you approach retirement, you should consider certain kinds of annuities that pay you a lifetime paycheck, no matter how long you live, which protects you against outliving your money. (5/12/14) LIMRA SRI: Total 1Q Annuity Sales Up 11% Total annuity sales improved 11 percent in the first quarter of 2014, compared to the first quarter of 2013, totaling $57.7 billion according to the LIMRA Secure Retirement Institute (LIMRA SRI). Annuity sales were driven largely by fixed annuity sales, which experienced a 43 percent increase in the first quarter, compared to prior year, reaching $23.5 billion (5/21/14)

3 reasons to replace the stretch IRA with life insurance Now is the time to help clients plan to replace the stretch IRA with something even better — life insurance. Life insurance has three huge advantages over the stretch IRA (5/1/14) Small business owners can, and should, obtain life insurance When it comes to life insurance and business, most people think of it as a benefit that business owners can make available to their employees. While this is a common practice, there are many other ways that business owners can implement life insurance to benefit not only their employees, but their businesses as well. (5/10/14) Donate Life Insurance to a Charity or College Donating life insurance "packs a whole lot more punch" than donating cash, says Kyle Krull, an estate-planning lawyer in Overland Park, Kansas (5/16/14) Multi-purpose products fulfill consumer needs Our industry has witnessed significant innovation of late in the form of hybrid products — particularly, life insurance coupled with built-in or available chronic illness accelerated benefit riders (5/8/14)

Insurers Ride The Critical And Chronic Illness Wave Insurance carriers see the critical illness and chronic care riders as a major opportunity to sell more life and long-term care coverage at a time when life insurance sales are flat and low interest rates exert a damper on insurance products (5/19/14) Life Insurance for Seniors Is A Necessary Investment During Retirement has released a new blog post explaining the importance of having life insurance for seniors during retirement. (5/26/14)

“Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler.” – Albert Einstein

disability insurance really is. It’s actually pretty simple to define: Disability insurance protects your paycheck (5/1/14) 'Hybrid' Long-Term-Care Policies How to Tell If They're Right for You (5/4/14) Cost of long-term care outpaces inflation: Genworth report The cost of long term care continues rising at a rate outpacing inflation creating significant financial planning challenges for the nearly 12 million Americans currently in need of long term care services. (5/7/14) Annuities With LTC Can Be The Right Fit Annuities that offer long-term care riders don’t get a lot of attention in industry news. But brokerage general agent Michael Smith said clients definitely are interested, and the product does sell when the fit is right (5/21/14) Most unprepared for long-term care needs Americans aging, but not ready for stress of elder care, poll finds (5/20/14)

Why disability insurance is critical Most people understand why having life insurance is a good idea: Nobody wants to leave their survivors in a financial lurch if they were to die suddenly. But what if you suffer an accident or illness and don't die, but rather, become severely disabled? (5/15/14) Disability insurance critical for solid financial plan To be sure your largest asset is protected, take a few minutes to review your group disability insurance contract so you understand how benefits are triggered and how much income you would receive. If the definition of disability is too restrictive, or the benefit will not be sufficient to meet your current expenses, it makes sense to consider supplementing your group coverage with an individual policy (5/11/14) You Have a 25% Chance of Needing Disability Insurance Workers fooling themselves about the need for disability

What's New With Long-Term Care Insurance?

insurance is virtually an epidemic: 64% of wage earners

Think you know the ins and outs of long-term care insurance?

believe they have a 2% or less chance of being disabled for

Think again (5/21/14)

three months or more during their working years. According to, the actual odds for someone entering the workforce today are closer to one in four (5/7/14) How Much Disability Insurance Do You Need?

3 Reasons You Think You Don’t Need Disability Insurance (But Actually Do) Most people, if asked, are hard pressed to explain what

During your working years, your ability to earn income is your greatest asset. If you don't have an adequate source of replacement income, a disability can quickly turn into a financial catastrophe (5/18/14)

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