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Stability rules as managed-volatility funds gain record assets

November 4, 2013

Stability is in. Witness managed-volatility funds’ climb to new heights: $200 billion in assets. A new report from Strategic Insight revealed that over the past seven years, managed-volatility strategies — investment tactics that aim to...

Best way an adviser can help: Cut up the credit cards

November 4, 2013

Plan advisers who want to step up their service to 401(k) clients and their workers need look no further than bread-and-butter debt management. When it comes to retirement plan services, financial advisers have placed a lot of emphasis on the...

The rise of Social Security zombies

November 4, 2013

So soon after Halloween and the Mexican Day of the Dead that celebrates the return of spirits of the deceased, I couldn't resist sharing a great story from Monday's Washington Post entitled “Why the dead get government checks”. Reporter...

Beyond the automatic 401(K)

November 3, 2013

There is no denying that recent 401(k) plan innovations of automatic enrollment, auto-escalation features and qualified default investment alternatives have gone a long way to improve retirement plan participation and savings rates. Using “nudge...

Standing up for SSA employees

November 1, 2013

In a recent blog, I wrote about what to do if a client gets a wrong answer from a Social Security Administration representative. In that article, I suggested that the client ask to speak to a supervisor and check the agency's website to corroborate...

Social Security benefits to increase 1.5% in 2014

October 30, 2013

Monthly Social Security benefits will increase Jan. 1, thanks to a 1.5% cost-of-living adjustment, the Social Security Administration said Wednesday. The 1.5% benefit hike affects more than 57 million retired and disabled workers as well as...

False alarm over Social Security rules for divorced spouses

October 29, 2013

I received a panicked e-mail from a reader recently, asking if Social Security had changed the claiming rules for ex-spouses. "A good friend of mine was just told by her local Social Security office that she cannot file for her ex-spouse's benefit...

Obama threatens to veto bill to delay DOL fiduciary-duty rule for retirement accounts

October 29, 2013

President Barack Obama has threatened to veto a bill that would halt — or possibly kill — a Labor Department regulation designed to strengthen investment advice standards for retirement plans. The legislation, written by Rep. Ann Wagner,...

When working longer is the best option

October 27, 2013

Allen McLellan, a retired financial adviser and faculty member at The American College, tells the story of one of his former clients, who was not financially ready to retire but desperate to get out of a workplace because she was sick of her...

More questions about Social Security benefits for spouses of different ages

October 25, 2013

My recent blog about coordinating Social Security benefits when one spouse is four years older than the other triggered some additional questions. James Wood, a professor at the University of Louisiana-Monroe, posed two excellent questions,...

Under new structure, fewer MetLife advisers pushed to produce more

October 25, 2013

MetLife Inc. is revamping its distribution group, giving its two remaining broker-dealers higher required minimum production levels with the expectations of selling more proprietary products with fewer reps. The insurer is placing MetLife Securities...

Competitive landscape is wide open for independent retirement advisers

October 24, 2013

Skip Schweiss Managing Director, TD Ameritrade

Retirement income: Could policy changes help stabilize retiree savings?

October 24, 2013

Wade Pfau, PhD, CFA Professor of Retirement Income, The American College of Financial Services

Social Security to release 2014 COLA data next week

October 24, 2013

Next week, the Bureau of Labor Statistics will issue the September Consumer Price Index report, the final piece of data that the Social Security Administration needs to plug into its annual cost of living adjustment formula. Social Security...

Think before changing health plan, advisers warn business owners

October 23, 2013

The enrollment period for small businesses seeking coverage via the health insurance exchanges is around the corner, but advisers are warning their small business clients to pause before making changes to their plans. The Affordable Care Act...

Driving participation in 401(k) plans

October 23, 2013

Kevin Crain, senior relationship executive at Bank of America Merrill Lynch, on how 401(k) plans are working to provide clearer choices and more professional advice.

Ways 401(k) advisers can extend their client reach

October 23, 2013

Top 401(k) advisers know how to get in front of the right people and connect with an entire family, according to Kevin Crain, senior relationship executive at Bank of America Merrill Lynch.

How policy could impact the 401(k) business

October 23, 2013

New tax and defined contribution fee disclosure rules could impact how clients save for retirement, according to Kevin Crain, senior relationship executive at Bank of America Merrill Lynch.

Regulatory changes driving up demand for retirement plan advisers

October 23, 2013

A flurry of changes to how the federal government oversees retirement plans could provide financial advisers with the opportunity to work more closely with employers on these plans, industry professionals said on Tuesday. “We can't hire people...

What I learned about Social Security in my CFP review course

October 23, 2013

Last week, I attended an intensive four-day, in-classroom review for next month's Certified Financial Planner Board of Standard Inc.'s certification exam. Going into the Dalton Review program, I was afraid I would be tripped up by complicated...

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