All eyes are turned toward Silicon Valley for the latest technology updates from Apple, but financial advisers might be more interested in news coming from Powhatan, Va.
That's where PIEtech on Wednesday released MoneyGuidePro G5, the fifth generation of the company's popular financial planning software. The update gives advisers new ways to leverage client health care data, allocate client assets and plan for life insurance scenarios.
MoneyGuidePro can now use a client's age and state of residence to estimate private insurance costs prior to Medicare. Advisers can show clients how health impacts out-of-pocket costs, and estimate the cost of switching between supplemental health care plans such as Medigap and Medicare Advantage.
If markets turn bearish, advisers can continue to fund a client's goals using reserve funds with a new feature MoneyGuidePro calls the "cash reserve bucket strategy." When markets improve, MoneyGuidePro will replenish the reserves.
Advisers can assign held-away or other segregated assets a distinct rate of return from assets under management. The idea is to blend these with target allocations to produce a more accurate risk-and-return analysis when viewing the client's entire portfolio.
Finally, MoneyGuidePro can support advisers looking to do sophisticated life insurance planning by adjusting a client's planning age, the survivor's retirement age and required funds left to survivors. The tool can calculate the remaining balance on a client's mortgage and other liabilities when estimating the cost of a new policy.
A representative from PIEtech was unavailable to comment. In a statement, executive vice president of sales Kevin Hughes said, "G5 builds on a successful, collaborative experience helping advisers position their advice and motivate their clients to implement their recommendations."
Zohar Swaine, president of consulting firm Mink Hollow Advisors, said the new features and enhancements address several of advisers' common and pressing financial planning challenges.
"These innovative solutions will be appreciated by astute advisers who may have been mystified as to how to handle ambiguous yet key financial planning assumptions," he said.
Planning for health care costs is an increasingly important role for advisers, but tools on the market still allow for only basic data input, Mr. Swaine said. The ability to manipulate allocations on held-away assets for planning purposes reflects market realities, as advisers otherwise have to manage these forecasts offline and assign arbitrary estimates.
Mr. Swaine said the cash reserve bucket strategy addresses "one of the larger risks in financial planning," which is a client seeing the worst returns in the early years of retirement.
"G5's recognition of funding goals with cash reserves in years with investment losses may be an important tool to recognize and address this risk," Mr. Swaine said.