Does Your Client Still Need an ILIT?

Posted by Krista Teegarden

June 4, 2019 at 10:00 AM

Under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, the federal estate tax exemption increased from $5.49 million to $11.4 million per individual (in 2019). This boost means a married couple can exclude a staggering $22.8 million from estate tax!

But this dramatic change has also prompted many clients to question whether they still need an irrevocable life insurance trust (ILIT) if their estate is valued below this exemption. The answer is . . . it depends.

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Topics: Estate Planning

What Type of Fiduciary Service Provider Are You?

Posted by Mathew Powers, CFA, AIF

May 29, 2019 at 1:30 PM

Administering a retirement plan and managing its assets involve specific responsibilities that can be difficult for most employers to perform. They first need to understand the rules and regulations of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA). This is complicated enough, and oftentimes it will require a fiduciary service provider to help the employer understand everything involved. ERISA sets standards of conduct for those who manage an employee benefit plan and its assets (i.e., fiduciaries). A plan must have at least one named plan fiduciary. For some plans, the plan fiduciary may be an administrative committee or a company’s board of directors. The key to determining whether an individual or an entity is a fiduciary is whether it is exercising discretion or control over the plan.

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Topics: Retirement Consulting

The SECURE Act: What It Means for Retirement Plan Advisors

Posted by Dan Collins

May 28, 2019 at 10:00 AM

The ancient Greek philosopher Heraclitus famously professed that “change is the only constant in life.” Although there’s no way Heraclitus could have imagined this concept applying to something like saving for retirement, it most certainly it does.

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Topics: Retirement Consulting

A Plan for Success(ion): 7 Steps to Transitioning Your Firm

Posted by Maria Considine King

May 22, 2019 at 1:30 PM

Advisors work hard for years, even decades, to build the businesses they have today. If you’re in the independent channel, chances are that your business is one of your largest personal assets, if not the largest. Which means transitioning your firm to the next generation is a big responsibility—one that you want to do right.

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Topics: Succession

A Reminder to Communicate with Clients in Volatile Times

Posted by Joni Youngwirth

May 21, 2019 at 10:00 AM

Though it sometimes seems otherwise, the financial crisis wasn’t that long ago. Baby-boomer clients were 44 to 62 years old in 2008; they’re 55 to 73 years old today. And they still make up the majority of most advisors’ clients and assets. But even though the demographics and net worth of your client base may be similar, the market gyrations in late 2018—and more recently with renewed trade tensions between the U.S. and China—don’t seem to have resulted in the same level of anxiety among your customers as they did back then.

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Topics: Practice Management

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