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Second wave of VA buyout offers comes from Axa

September 26, 2013

Advisers and clients are getting Axa Equitable Life Insurance Co.'s second wave of variable annuity buyout offers — and the verdict is mixed. Back in July, the insurer filed an offer with the Securities and Exchange Commission, giving a certain...

Social Security: Making up for lost time

September 25, 2013

A few weeks ago, I had the pleasure of speaking at a retirement income conference in southern California, sponsored by two groups promoting financial literacy for women: WomanSage and Women Investing in Security and Education. One of my hosts,...

Health insurance exchange cost info released

September 25, 2013

The effective date for the state and federal health insurance exchanges is right around the corner, and details on costs and levels of coverage according to location are starting to unfold. The Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning...

Annuities changes puzzle advisers

September 24, 2013

Though variable annuities were helpful for the most nervous clients during the financial crisis, advisers admit that insurers still have room for improvement when it comes to this product line. A panel of financial advisers from the Chicago...

Gundlach to oversee $450M in annuities push

September 23, 2013

Jeffrey Gundlach, manager of the top-performing DoubleLine Total Return Bond Fund, is expanding to variable annuities by subadvising a fund modeled after his flagship for Prudential Plc's Jackson National Life Insurance. DoubleLine received...

Two options to 'super-size' Social Security benefits

September 22, 2013

I often write about how financial advisers can help their clients who claim reduced Social Security benefits early and regret it later take steps to reset their benefits. Sometimes it means repaying benefits that they have received over the...

Online account only way to access benefit data

September 22, 2013

I was pleased to receive an automatic e-mail alert from the Social Security Administration last Monday urging me to review my benefits statement online. Just like in the old days of paper statements when an annual benefits estimate would arrive...

Texas man gets 40 years for phony annuities scheme

September 20, 2013

Robert J. Mangiafico Jr. of Allen, Texas, has been sentenced to 40 years in prison for defrauding elderly women out of nearly $500,000 in a phony annuity scheme. Mr. Mangiafico was sentenced Sept. 18 after more than two days of testimony in...

Resist the urge to grab Social Security benefits early

September 20, 2013

I've just completed a whirlwind tour of speaking engagements to financial advisers around the country to help them understand the value of postponing Social Security benefits and exercising creative claiming strategies. I have talked with advisers...

Legally-married same-sex couples get retirement boost from DOL

September 19, 2013

The Labor Department has released guidance on same-sex couples who are legally married, defining them as spouses — regardless of which state they live — in the context of retirement plans. The agency's ruling hews closely to the Internal...

Retirement benefits no longer at risk for same-sex couples

September 19, 2013

A decision this week by the Labor Department interpreting the consequences of a landmark Supreme Court ruling on same-sex marriage is sweeping away couples' fears that their retirement benefits could disappear if they relocate. The ruling, which...

A real life case of confused claiming strategies

September 18, 2013

I continue to receive questions from advisers following my Aug. 20 Social Security boot camp webcast. This is an excellent query from John, a financial adviser in Eugene, Ore., that succinctly summarizes the confusion related to claiming strategies...

Small-biz retirement plan options launched by Genworth

September 17, 2013

Genworth Financial Wealth Management Inc. on Monday launched Retirement Connections, a set of retirement plan options that financial advisers can offer to their small-business-owner clients. “Business owners are overwhelmed with the affairs...

Life insurers strike back at regulator's claim on cash reserves

September 17, 2013

Responding to sharp criticism of how they set aside cash reserves, the life insurance industry fired back, calling a New York insurance regulator's claims “inaccurate” and irresponsible.” In a Sept. 11 letter to insurance regulators, Benjamin...

N.Y. insurance chief knocks life insurers for cutting capital reserves

September 16, 2013

New York's chief insurance regulator, Ben Lawsky, criticized life insurers for cutting down the capital cushion they allot for certain insurance products and said companies operating in the state can no longer use a modified model to calculate...

A timely reminder: Sign up for online Social Security account

September 16, 2013

I was pleased to receive an automatic e-mail alert from the Social Security Administration Monday urging me to review my Social Security statement online. Just like in the old days of paper statements when an annual benefits estimate would arrive...

Milevsky sells retirement analytics firm to Cannex

September 16, 2013

Retirement income guru Moshe A. Milevsky has sold his retirement analytics firm, the Quantitative Wealth Management Analytics Group, to Cannex Financial Exchanges Ltd., a provider of fixed-annuity data. Mr. Milevsky, a professor at York University,...

Mark Cortazzo: "There were some very tough conversations"

September 15, 2013

Q. How did you keep clients from panicking during the crisis? A. We had money in programs with strong guarantees — these are strong annuity companies. But when you have headlines with companies like [American International Group Inc.] being...

Don't blame the custodian for IRS levies

September 15, 2013

A lthough individual retirement accounts are tax shelters, a recent federal court ruling drove home the point that the retirement vehicles are taxable and that they are not sheltered from a demand for payment by the Internal Revenue Service...

Preparing retirees for QE tapering

September 15, 2013

There's no question that the current investing environment is challenging for those -managing retirement portfolios. Stocks are hitting record highs but still producing weak dividends. Annuities are tied down to dismal rates with no relief in...

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