Help Protect Your Clients from the “Next One”

Lexie Giusti, Sr. Marketing Consultant
(Asset Marketing Systems)

Since August 2018, the current bull market has been the longest-running in U.S. history. In addition to this incredible run, since the Great Depression, the Dow has hit multiple milestones and set record closes. The lesson we should learn from previous market influx and downturns is: “It isn’t so much about how much you’ve gained, but more importantly, it’s about protecting yourself from losing what you’ve gained!”

Your clients may be having the best run of their lives in the market right now. On the contrary, you could have clients that are feeling that 2008 pit in their stomach. Right now is the best time to educate your clients and prospects on current economic conditions, opportunities of in-service distributions, and locking in their gains from this long bull-run.

Take the opportunity to use the “Market Volatility” download by inserting it into an upcoming email blast or passing it out at a Learning Center event, or your next seminar. 

Download the Market Volatility Flyer

Please contact your Asset Marketing Consultant to discuss more ways to use this piece. 

SECURE Act Provisions

Sam Payne, RICP, CLTC – Vice President, Business Consultant
(Asset Marketing Systems)

December 20th of 2019, president Trump signed into law the “Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement Act” or the SECURE Act.  I see this Act as an effort to make sure American Retirees have the tools available to do exactly what retirement accounts are intended to do, provide income.  Annuities, and the guaranteed income they provide, can play a pivotal role in the success of a retiree’s income plan.  When Americans enter that permanent state of unemployment, called retirement, these products can and do help provide the paycheck or income needed to meet normal as well as emergency expenses. 

In addition to offering a safe harbor provision allowing annuities in 401K plans, the act makes substantial changes to the RMD age as well as the ability to contribute to an IRA after 70 ½. To pay for these benefits, it seems, the act also dealt a death blow to what is known as the “stretch” or “multi –generational” IRA.  Non-spousal IRA’s must now be liquidated within 10 years of the owner’s death.

This Act became law on Jan 1st 2020.  Below I highlight some key provisions of the act and provide five solutions and opportunities.

Key Takeaways:

  • Repeals the maximum age for traditional IRA contributions, which is currently 70½.
  • Increases the required minimum distribution (RMD) age for retirement accounts to 72 (up from 70½).
  • Allows long-term, part-time workers to participate in 401(k) plans.
  • Offers more options for lifetime income strategies by providing a Safe Harbor provision allowing plan sponsors to include Annuities in 401K plans.
  • Permits parents to withdraw up to $5,000 from retirement accounts penalty-free within a year of birth or adoption for qualified expenses.
  • Allows parents to withdraw up to $10,000 from 529 plans to repay student loans.

Here are 5 Solutions and Opportunities to Consider:

  1. Re-Evaluate Beneficiaries
  • Spousal rollovers can be more valuable for tax-deferral
  • If you listed a trust as a beneficiary, review immediately
  1. Tax Bracket Management
  • Maximize low tax brackets
  • Qualified Charitable Distributions if you are charitabily inclined
  1. Examine Roth Conversions
  • Current lower rates under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act are scheduled to sunset after 2025
  • Those close to RMD age have an additional 2 years from ROTH conversions
  1. Life Insurance as an estate and tax planning vehicle
  • Can replace all of the benefits of a stretch IRA and IRA trusts
  • Less tax for beneficiaries
  1. Avoid Trust Tax Rates by All Means
  • Highest trust tax rate at present is 37% for income over $12,950
  1. Highlight the benefits of FIA’s and their income riders 
  • Show those close to retirement that annuities are already available outside their 401K
  • Illustrate income that can be generated at their retirement age

Download the SECURE Act Summary PDF

These are some suggestions, and as always reach out to your Business Consultant here at AMS with any questions, comments or concerns you may have.

Are Your Clients Gambling With Their Retirement?

Josh Ver Hoeve, V.P. Annuity and Life Distribution
(Asset Marketing Systems)

January is Financial Wellness Month.

In 2019, each person in the United States spent about $1,000 on the holidays, which was up from the $885 average we saw in 2018. This means that there was more than $1 trillion spent on the holidays just in the U.S. alone. Included in that spending, 33% of people spent over $1,000.  The U.S. economy is doing well!  The market continues to soar to new highs over and over again, however the question remains for you and your clients – when will we see a correction or even a slowdown?  

Many experts are saying that in the next decade we can expect U.S. equities to be somewhere between a -5% to a +5%.  Perhaps more important, the last decade is highly unlikely or nearly impossible to repeat.  So the next question to ask is, when is a good time to take your winnings off the table and protect them?  I would take a guess and say that right now is about as good as a time as ever.  

Many Americans looking to retire in the next five to ten years don’t have to take the market risk to achieve their retirement goals.  So why take risk when it’s unnecessary?  Even in this low interest rate environment we still have Fixed Indexed Annuities with incredible accumulation potential, all while protecting your clients from another market downturn.  Take this first month of 2020 to plan for the future and your clients’ future. Let’s make sure our clients are financially well and not taking risk that is unnecessary.  

You may be wondering about which products are best for safety and accumulation, or perhaps have the best income riders on the market?  Maybe you’re looking to leverage assets for death benefit.  We have you covered, CLICK HERE to view our January 2020 top picks page for Annuities and CLICK HERE for life insurance.  Be sure to give our product team a call to discuss your cases, answer questions, or run illustrations.  Our number is 888-303-8755. 

Source USA Today Article November 29, 2019. 

Medical Information Bureau (MIB) – Facts and Myths

Mia Dempsey, Manager – New Business
(Asset Marketing Systems)

Everything You Need to Know About MIB

An essential part on the life underwriting process is the use of the MIB report. MIB, Inc. is a consumer reporting agency for use by insurance companies. 

MIB maintains a database for the member companies to exchange confidential information of underwriting significance when a person applies for life, health, disability income, long term care and/or critical illness insurance. This information is maintained and safeguarded in a coded format that is accessible only to authorized personnel of a member company.

To access this information, the member company must receive authorization from the proposed insured to use MIB as an information source. The authorization is provided by the completion of an insurance application and is signed by the proposed insured. The primary purpose of MIB is to protect the member companies from proposed insureds who knowingly or unknowingly omit information about their insurability on their application.

Frequently asked questions regarding MIB:

1. Can an insurance company obtain the final decision(s) of the proposed insured’s prior applications?

The answer is no. MIB does not provide the exact decision made by the insurance company only the details that affected the decision.

2. When a person checks online for information about an Insurance company or receives a quote online from a company do these actions get reported to MIB?

The answer is no. To access information from MIB the insurance company must receive a signed application by the proposed insured. The application can be either in paper form or electronic.

3. Does MIB receive information directly from an individual’s Medical Doctor?

The answer is no. Only insurance companies report information to MIB. This is only after the insurance company has received authorization from a proposed insured.

4. Can an insurance company obtain the name of the company(s) the proposed insured has applied to in the past?

Upon request MIB will supply the name of any insurance company(s) the proposed insured has applied to in the past.

 If your client would like information on MIB, you may provide a copy of the brochure “A Consumer’s Guide to MIB’s Underwriting Services” to the proposed insured.

Contact information for MIB:
50 Braintree Hill Park, Suite 400
Braintree, MA 02184
Phone: 781-751-6000

Source: North American Company
This information for use only by Financial Professionals. Not for consumer use.