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SEC officials warn insurers on annuity disclosures, VA changes

June 18, 2013

As insurance products become more complex, the industry needs to redouble its efforts to fully disclose their risks, a federal regulator said today. Norm Champ, director of the Division of Investment Management at the Securities and Exchange...

Reps responsible for variable annuity guidance: Regulators

June 18, 2013

As life insurers alter variable annuity contract language and implement other changes to escape from their large VA liabilities, compliance experts and regulators are stressing that suitability rules apply and reps are ultimately responsible...

Mary Beth Franklin: The question Social Security calculators can't answer

June 18, 2013

Last weekend, I participated in a retirement income forum sponsored by a local wealth management firm near my home in Falls Church, VA. Nearly 300 of the firm's clients attended the six-hour program that ran from breakfast through lunchtime...

Life settlements on regulators' radar as states push their use

June 17, 2013

Life settlements are back on regulators' radar again as state legislators come up with laws that encourage the elderly to sell their life insurance policies as a way to pay for long-term-care needs. Texas Gov. Rick Perry last Friday signed a...

Fewer options for altering spousal Social Security claims

June 16, 2013

R eaders come up with the best questions. Sarah, a financial adviser in Los Angeles, is one of them. Sarah asked whether a person who claimed reduced Social Security spousal benefits early, at 62, can do anything to restore a higher benefit....

Bogle: SocSec greatest fixed income

June 16, 2013

The rule of thumb has always been that as individuals get older they should allocate more to bonds, but that may not be the best route to retirement — and not just because of rising interest rates. They may be overlooking the other big source...

Live from Morningstar Are retirees holding too many bonds?

June 13, 2013

The rule of thumb has always been that as individuals gets older they should allocate more to bonds, but that may not be the best route to retirement — and not just because of rising interest rates. They may be overlooking the other big source...

Medical pros on the front line in fight against financial abuse of seniors

June 12, 2013

Medical professionals are finding themselves at center stage in the fight against elder financial abuse and they are ready to help. About 59% of doctors and nurses think cognitive impairment makes seniors vulnerable to financial exploitation...

The most misunderstood Social Security rule

June 12, 2013

In one of my recent blogs, I discussed Social Security spousal benefits, explaining how spousal benefits can be worth up to half of the amount of a worker's benefit if collected at full retirement age. I also noted that because spousal benefits...

Mutual fund costs for 401(k) plans still dropping

June 12, 2013

Mutual fund costs continue to tumble for 401(k) plans, thanks in part to plan sponsors' demands for cheaper investment options. Costs have been coming down over the years for mutual funds in retirement plans, according to a report from the Investment...

Mary Beth Franklin: No mulligan after claiming spousal benefits early

June 10, 2013

Readers of my InvestmentNews blogs and columns come up with the best questions! They make me rethink how I can present information about the often-complicated Social Security claiming rules in a clearer fashion. Sarah, a financial adviser in...

Five budget items that target retirement accounts

June 9, 2013

Five proposals were included in this year's federal budget that directly relate to retirement accounts. Here is a rundown of each proposal, its main benefit and its drawback. 1) Establish a “cap” on retirement savings, prohibiting additional...

Brokers up in arms over The Hartford's VA plan

June 9, 2013

Broker-dealer executives are worried about the amount of work — and the potential liability — they may face following The Hartford's announcement that it's reining in investment options for some variable annuities. The insurer recently notified...

Why we need to fix Social Security now

June 9, 2013

When the Social Security trustees issued their annual report recently, you could almost hear a collective sigh of relief across the country. The long-range financial outlook for the nation's crucial retirement system is still on track to pay...

Dynasty offering insurance

June 9, 2013

Dynasty Financial Partners LLC has launched a new service, Dynasty Insurance Services, to support its network of 18 firms in writing fixed-life-insurance, and annuity, disability and long-term-care contracts. With wirehouse advisers going independent,...

Next benefit fortress to fall: Employee health insurance

June 9, 2013

Workplace-based health insurance is following in the footsteps of retirement benefits. In response to rising premiums over the past few years and fear of the unknown when Affordable Care Act changes kick in next year, increasing numbers of employers...

B-D execs up in arms over The Hartford's VA plan

June 7, 2013

Broker-dealer executives are worried about the amount of work — and the potential liability — they may face following The Hartford's announcement that it's reining in investment options for some variable annuities. The insurer recently notified...

Mary Beth Franklin: How to mesh Social Security disability and retirement strategies

June 6, 2013

I received an interesting question from a financial adviser in West Chester, Pa, yesterday about how to coordinate Social Security disability and retirement benefits. Jeff asked me to recommend an optimum claiming strategy for his client, a...

One-stop shop for insurance licenses closer to reality

June 6, 2013

The Senate Banking Committee on Thursday unanimously approved legislation that would make it easier to obtain licenses to sell insurance in multiple states. The measure would establish a non-profit, independent board – the National Association...

Hartford's VA redo could kill off living benefits for some clients

June 6, 2013

Advisers who sold Hartford Life variable annuities are in for a busy summer tracking down clients who hold certain annuities that are slated for major changes. Policyholders who fail to act could lose their benefits. The company is applying...

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