Prudentials’ Life Insurance and Retirement Planning is on the Rise

Prudential Q2 Earnings: Retirement And Life Insurance Divisions Boost Growth by Trefis Team Prudential Financial reported strong earnings for the second quarter of 2014, with net income of over $1 billion compared to a loss of $517 million in the second quarter of 2013. The strong results were driven by an increase in fees in the annuity and assets […] Read more »

Key Problems With Older Buy Sell Agreements

Click to Open PDF Common Issues Found in Older Buy-Sell Agreements A carefully constructed buy-sell plan can create a solid foundation for the future of a business and the people who depend upon it. A buy-sell agreement can create a market for a business when an owner exits, provide for the orderly transfer of a […] Read more »

The Life Insurance Gap

The life insurance gap exists between how much life insurance a family actually has and how much life insurance they actually need. It’s recommended that families have enough life insurance to cover 15yrs of expenses, should the breadwinner die but most families only have enough to cover 3yrs. The $500,000 Life Insurance Gap Ashlea Ebeling Forbes Staff (Photo […] Read more »

Dai-Ichi Life in Talks to Buy Protective Life

Just released this morning, Japanese life insurance company, Dai-Ichi Life is in advanced talks to buy the 103 year old, U.S. life insurance company, Protective Life. Japan’s Dai-ichi Life in talks to buy Protective Life for $5 billion: source BY TAIGA URANAKA (Reuters) – Japanese insurer Dai-ichi Life Co is in advanced talks to buy U.S. […] Read more »

Financial Planning For Expectant and New Mothers

news

For new and expectant mothers, financial planning is essential. With all of the life changes that come with having a child, financial planning often gets pushed to the wayside but this is a mistake. Early and thorough financial planning, especially when it comes to life insurance, should be made a top priority. In the following article, author, Winnie […] Read more »

Life Insurance: For Better or For Worse, You Have to Sell It

riskandreward

Due to the doom and gloom aspect, the public isn’t chomping at the bit to buy life insurance. Even with its wondrous investment-return capabilities, it takes ever more creative techniques to sell it. Which is where you come in. As author, Jay Adkisson, writes, “There is no doubt that while the public doesn’t really think […] Read more »

Mistakes of Life and Death: Philip Seymour Hoffman’s Estate Planning

Invision/Associated Press/Victoria Will

Due to improper estate planning, upon Philip Seymour Hoffman’s untimely death his mourning family was left to sort out his 40 percent+ estate tax bill. The estate planning mistakes that left Hoffman’s family in debt could have been easily avoided had Hoffman consulted with an advisor, kept his plans up to date/current with tax law, […] Read more »

The Fool and His Estate Tax

Estate Taxes. Source: Center on Budget and Policy Priorities

There’s no two ways about it: only a fool pays 45% estate tax upon his death. With simple life insurance and trust tools, anyone can easily reduce their estate tax to nearly zero. In the article, “Only the Foolish Pay 45% Estate Tax,” author Barry Ritholtz writes, “Only if you are an idiot [would you […] Read more »

12 Important Estate Planning Tax Facts

There’s a lot to keep straight when it comes to estate planning and taxes. For many individuals, it can feel overwhelming enough for them to opt out of the entire process. Even though estate planning can be daunting, there are a few basic facts that help keep it simple. In the article below, “12 more […] Read more »

The Marriage Penalty: Gay Marriage and Tax Law

Tax Law Complications Arise For Same-Sex Married Couples In tax law, the marriage penalty refers to the income tax a couple must pay “if they owe more income tax filing a joint return than the spouses would pay if they were unmarried and each were taxable as a single or head of household filer.” (U.S. […] Read more »

Downton Abbey: Lessons in Death and Death Taxes

If there’s one thing we’ve learned from the latest season of Downton Abbey, it’s that death taxes (AKA estate taxes) have the power to destroy a family’s estate. Without proper planning, the untimely death of a family’s primary bread winner could leave its surviving members 40% of the breadwinner’s worth in debt. This is why […] Read more »

GRAT Basics

Many of our advisors have expressed great interest in our previous posts detailing how wealthy clients can pass multitudes of property onto their children both, estate and gift tax free. Although, in the following example it’s not entirely gift tax free. The grantor does have a taxable gift totaling a whopping $8.63 in order to […] Read more »

Why Employer Offered Life Insurance Policies Should be Avoided

NOT signing up for your employer offered, group life insurance plan could save you money and push you to seek out better coverage. Many individuals choose to enroll in their employer’s optional, group life insurance plan because of it’s convenience, but in doing this they’re throwing money down the drain and potentially not getting the […] Read more »

ATRA: Tax Laws Settled and “Permanent”

For the first time in over a decade the new federal estate tax laws were given no specified expiration date. As of New Year’s Day, 2014, the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 (ATRA) and the Generation-Skipping Transfer (GST) tax laws were enacted and made permanent. What’s more, in the article, “United States: Planning After ATRA,” […] Read more »

Lesson Learned from American Billionaires: Invest in GRATs

Little known to the American public, America’s wealthiest family–the Waltons–have  maintained their estate through low tax GRATs (Grantor Retained Annuity Trusts). GRATs  have made it possible for families to turn-over the future appreciation of assets, to the next generations, nearly tax free. Billionaires, like the Walton’s have been doing this for years, but now you […] Read more »

Beat Estate Tax Like a Billionaire

GRATs (grantor retained annuity trusts) can save your clients thousands of dollars in estate taxes. This little known loophole in estate tax law gives its owners the ability to invest money nearly tax free and gain interest while it’s in the trust. What’s more, GRATs can be gifted back to their owners. In the article […] Read more »

Survivorship Insurance Gains in Popularity

Recently, sales have soared for survivorship insurance. With the new estate tax laws going into effect in 2014, survivorship insurance is being bought and sold as a solution. Survivorship insurance policies insure two people under one policy and are much cheaper than the purchase of two separate life insurance policies. In the article below,”Sales of survivorship […] Read more »

2014 Estate Tax: 4 Tips to Keep You in the Green

Whether you’re rich or poor, proper estate tax planning is essential to growing and preserving your wealth. In the article below, “Estate Tax in 2014: 4 Things You Need to Know,” author, Dan Caplinger lists the following key tips for 2014 estate tax: Exclusions are higher for 2014 estate tax. Life insurance policies are taxable […] Read more »

Adding Estate Planning to Prenups

For clients who have been married before, have children from a previous marriage and are planning a new marriage; adding estate planning language to their prenuptial agreement is essential. Without this language, should your client die, their spouse will inherit the majority of the deceased’s assets; leaving little to nothing for the deceased’s children. In […] Read more »

Thanksgiving Dinner and Long Term Care

Both are Best Enjoyed When Planned in Advance Thanksgiving is now less than a week away and many of us are still scrambling to plan our menus, coordinate with our family members and gather all of the necessary supplies. This sort of last minute planning seems to be as much of an American tradition as […] Read more »

Retirement: New, More Affordable Long-Term Care Options

Historically individuals have purchased Long-Term Care policies to cover the bulk of their retirement expenses but in recent years, Long-Term Care coverage has become increasingly less affordable. According to an article published in the Chicago Tribune, this has NOT gone unnoticed by insurance carriers. Consequentially, many carriers have developed new, more affordable products designed to […] Read more »

Long Term Care, Live without Regret

The purchase of Long Term Care insurance shields families from potential regret caused by the financial and time-intensive burden of having to care for elderly loved ones.  As stated in an article released by Genworth, the absence of Long Term Care appropriations is responsible for serious monetary strife, tension and anxiety amongst family members. Without […] Read more »

10 Common Life Insurance Riders

Life insurance contracts have many required legal provisions, but many of them also include special provisions, endorsements and/or allow for special riders to be attached to the basic contract. The purpose of these provisions and riders is to enhance the flexibility and fit of the policy to the policyowner’s needs. In some cases, however, they […] Read more »

Affordable Care Act Neglected Long-term Care Needs

The Affordable Care Act was supposed to include much needed coverage for long-term care expenses, many people did not know this. The enacting legislation was called the Community Living Assistance Services and supported ACT. What happened to an initiative that was meant to address what is going to be a huge financial burden for families […] Read more »

Six Beneficiary Mistakes That Could Be Costly

Updating your beneficiary information is important, if you’ve even spent time working with a professional on your estate plan, you know that.  Not updating your beneficiary can result in some costly mistakes, not only for you but also your loved ones.  According to an article in Alicetx.com here are six big mistakes that you can […] Read more »

It’s Time To Change Our Approach On Long-Term Care

Last week, The Federal Commission of Long-Term Care released more than two dozen recommendations detailing ways to enhance and make services for older Americans and people with disabilities more affordable.  A recent article on FoxBusiness.com discusses these changes.  Rather than endorse specific new programs, it draws more attention to the growing affordability problem. One of the […] Read more »

Do You Know When You Need Life Insurance?

Shopping for life insurance makes buying toilet paper and toothbrushes seem like a shopping paradise.  For consumers life insurance ranks at the top of the list of things that they know they should buy but get no personal enjoyment from whatsoever.  There is just no happy way to look at life insurance.  Life insurance is just […] Read more »

Life Insurance Gap Among Gen Xers Increases

The life insurance coverage gap among Generation X households rose by 24% over a five-year period ending in 2013. The life insurance coverage gap is the amount by which a breadwinner is underinsured for life insurance. This is according to a pair of surveys conducted by Futures Group and published in Insurancenewsnet.com. The median amount […] Read more »

Life Insurance Contestability Period – 7 Things You Need To Know About

The constestability period of a life insurance policy is a short window in which the insurance company can investigate and deny claims.  For most states the period is two years while it’s one year in others.  The period begins on the policy effective date.  If you die withing the contestability period, the insurance company can […] Read more »

Middle Class Americans Are Becoming Likely To Buy Permanent Life Insurance

A recent survey from The First Command Financial Behaviors index and published on Heraldonline.com indicates that permanent life insurance is growing in popularity among both military and general households.  Almost half of those who don’t own permanent insurance say that are considering adding it to their financial toolbox. In fact, 46% of middle-class military families who don’t […] Read more »

Do You Need Disability Insurance?

One in four 20- year-olds will be disabled before they are 67 years old.  Americans purchase insurance to protect their assets such as their home and cars but one of the most important assets of all is the ability to work.  If an injury or disease disabled you early in life, the lost wages will […] Read more »

Is Your Client Withholding Financial Information?

Clients usually look to financial advisors for advice and guidance when getting their affairs in order but they may not being sharing everything.  This is according to report released by Securian Financial Group and published by CPA Practice Advisor.  The report found that 29 percent of people haven’t told their advisor about everything, such as […] Read more »

Same Sex Couples Will Receive Equal Federal Tax Recognition

As reported in USAToday , The Obama administration announced on Thursday that married same-sex couples will be treated the same as opposite-sex couples for tax purposes, regardless of where they live now.  Following up on the Supreme Court’s ruling in June striking down a key section of the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act, announced that gay […] Read more »

Buyer’s Age For Long Term Care Insurance Drops Dramatically

New data from LTC Tree, the insurance “supermarket” indicates the average buyer of LTC coverage is younger than ever.  According to watchlistnews.com the statistical department analyzed more than 53,000 cases from 1999 to 2013 to find the main change in the buyer’s age. In 1999, the average age of the buyer was 67.3 years old.  […] Read more »

Tips For Starting A Conversation About Estate Planning

No one wants to think about someone they love dying so discussing estate planning can be tough.  People find it private or too morbid to discuss.  Some are even superstitious about the situation thinking that having the discussion will make bad things happen. Talking about estate planning does take a lot of courage but it […] Read more »

Caregiver Shortage Looms For Baby Boomers

According to a report released by AARP and published in Thewashingtonpost.com Americans should expect an enormous shortage for caregivers for older people in the coming decades.  A dearth of friends and family members available to care for the baby-boom generation will decline in the coming years.  The problem will stem from a combination of factors, including […] Read more »

Retiree Tax Burden Differs By State

No matter where you retire, the amount of federal taxes you’ll owe will be the same.  State taxes on the other hand can vary widely across the U.S.  A recent article published in Kiplinger.com discusses how taxes vary state by state.  Your choice for retirement destination can have a significant impact on what you’ll owe in […] Read more »

Michael Jackson’s Estate -vs- U.S. IRS In Tax Court

According to court documents the estate of pop legend Michael Jackson if fighting the IRS over taxes and penalties levied on a wide range of the star’s assets, including Neverland Ranch.  The estate does not disclose a dollar amount, it just suggests that the amount of estate taxes paid and allegedly owed could differ significantly.  This […] Read more »

Buying Life Insurance? Here Are The Top Four Questions To Ask

If you are considering buying a life insurance policy make sure you know what you want your policy to do for your loved ones.  The top reasons for buying life insurance are “replacing lost wages” and “covering burial expenses”.  Other reasons are to transfer wealth, pay estate taxes and supplement retirement income.  Both term and […] Read more »

Does Moving To Another State Affect My Estate Planning

When people move out of state, they are always faced with the question of rather or not the trust they established should be revoked and a new trust established.  This is especially true if you are moving into or out of the state of California.  A recent article from LakeCountyNews.com discusses the issues involved with moving from […] Read more »

3 Options For Buying Long Term Care

With the rising cost of long term care expenses more and more people are considering buying long term care insurance.  Basically there are 3 options to choose from when you are ready to make the purchase.  You can buy a stand-alone long term care policy, a fixed annuity with LTC benefits or a life insurance […] Read more »

Peace Of Mind -vs- Long Term Care Cost?

While long term care insurance continues to rise, some say it’s worth it for peace of mind. Long term care insurance will help pay for expenses incurred from a nursing home or home health assistance while protecting your assets.  Long term care companies are in turmoil for increasing premium on policies by as much as 80%.  Many companies have actually pulled out […] Read more »

Women Tend To Ignore Financial Planning

As powerful as women have become in past years they are still in the dark on key aspects about their retirement finances.  Women’s responsibilities differ from family to family.  While many women take care of everyday household bills and know the big financial picture they leave the details of their retirement planning to the men.  Because […] Read more »

Protect Your Assets From Estate Taxes

As everyone is aware Congress passed the American Taxpayer Relief Act in January 2013.  The individual estate exclusion amount is $5.25 million.  The high exclusion amount means only the very rich need to worry about estate taxes.  For those individuals with wealth primarily concentrated in their home or investment portfolio, there are two types of trusts designed […] Read more »

Policyholders Are Being Hit With Premium Increases On Long-Term Care Policies

Clients who have a long term care policy have probably received a notice that their premium is going up.  If they haven’t received it yet, just wait.  Many companies have or will be raising premiums on long-term care policies.  Because long-term care costs continue to increase the insurance companies are paying out more in claims resulting in the […] Read more »

Estate Planning Mistakes That You Don’t Want To Make

Estate planning is a tedious task for anyone, especially if you don’t know what your doing.  It’s always recommended to consult a financial and tax experts when planning for your estate.  It’s also important to learn from other peoples mistakes.  A recent article from TheGlobeandMail  shared some important lessons from some high profile people. 1.  Don’t […] Read more »

Middle Income Boomers Are Unprepared For Retirement

Bankers Life and Casualty Company Center for a Secure Retirement recently conducted a study “Retirement Care Planning: The Middle-Income Boomer Perspective” that focused on 1,299 Americans aged 49 to 67 with an annual household income of between $25,000 and $75,000.  The study showed that only 20% have a rough plan for retirement care and just […] Read more »

National Study Finds That Long Term Care Cost Continue To Rise

Marketwatch.com recently released the results of a national study that was completed by LifePlans, Inc.  Surveys were conducted of 16,000 long-term care providers including nursing homes, assisted living facilities and home health care agencies across the country.  The annual average cost increased for each type of facility.  Average annual cost for a private room in […] Read more »

How Filing One Form Can Double Your Estate Tax Exemptions!

Estate planning is a difficult task and you should always get legal and tax advice when making plans for your estate.  The portability provision is the allowable transfer of federal estate tax exemptions from the estate of the first spouse to die to the estate of the second spouse to die.  While the provision was […] Read more »

Estate Tax Refunds For Same Sex Couples To Be Offered In New York

Last month’s Supreme Court decision in U.S. v. Windsor held section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act to be unconstitutional.  As a result of the decision, New York State issued Technical Service Bureau Memorandum TSB-M-13(9)M to explain the effect of the decision for New York estate tax purposes.  Estates of the same sex spouses […] Read more »

Have You Planned For Long Term Health Care?

We all require health care at some point.  Hopefully it’s just for a broken bone or bad virus.  It’s no fun being sick but luckily these ailments generally only keep us down for a few days or possibly a few weeks. Have you ever given it any thought what you would do if it were something much more […] Read more »

Just How Expensive Are Your Risky Hobbies?

Do you have a client that has risky or dangerous hobbies? Client’s often don’t realize the impact that their hobbies can have on their life insurance ratings. USANews.com has a real life story of a young healthy 30 year old business man who applied for health insurance and was very surprised to learn that because […] Read more »

Is Life Insurance A Retirement Investment?

"Retirement Planning"

All of us know that life insurance was designed to protect our loved ones in the event of our untimely death. Life insurance can also be purchased as part of estate planning or to protect a business so that it can continue to operate in the event of the death of an owner or key […] Read more »

Allstate To Discontinue Annuity Sells

Last week Allstate announced the sell of Lincoln Benefit Life to Resolution Life Holdings Company for $600 Million.  According to an article on InsuranceNewsNet.com, along with life insurance they are also bowing out of annuity sells.  The products will be sold through the independent agency distribution channel business.   Allstate is bowing out of writing […] Read more »

Standard And Poor’s Affirms Ratings Of Mutual Of Omaha And Affiliates

S&P Affirmed it’s A+ Rating for Mutual of Omaha and it’s affiliates A press release on July 11 by Standard and Poor ratings they announced that they are reaffirming it’s A+ rating for Mutual of Omaha and it’s affiliates.  This is the fifth highest of the companies 21 ratings.  The short-term counterparty credit rating for […] Read more »

Allstate To Sell Lincoln Benefit Life Insurance Unit For $600 Million

On Wednesday, home and auto insurer Allstate Insurance Company announced they will sell one of its life insurance businesses, Lincoln Benefit Life Insurance Company to Resolution Life Holdings for $600 million.  This is according to an article on Reuters.com . (Reuters) – Home and auto insurer Allstate Corp will sell one of its life insurance […] Read more »

New York Life Will Remain as Exclusive Life Insurance Provider for AARP

As reported by heraldonline.com, AARP has announced that they have renewed their contract with New York Life to remain the exclusive provider of life insurance products to their 37 million members.  The contract renewal is through 2022 and it’s believed that New York Life’s award winning customer service won the contract extension. AARP is a […] Read more »

3 Real Life Stories About Life Insurance

Everyone will need life insurance at some point in their life.  The type of policy and amount of insurance a person needs varies from person to person.  A nationwide study by LearnVest and Guardian showed that one third of people who have life insurance do not know what type of policy they have.  And though […] Read more »

At the Age of 54, Randy Travis Will Require Long Term Care

Less than 2 weeks ago country music superstar Randy Travis was going about his life as usual.  That all changed in the blink of an eye when he suffered idiopathic cardiomyopathy at age 54.  The condition was made worse when he suffered a stroke while he was on life support.  After 48 hours on life […] Read more »

Quote Term Insurance Rates Right From Your Website !

Shaw American has developed a special relationship with AQ2E , the leading provider of agent websites and term quoting engines. Take a minute to try out the quoting engine to the right, this link can be added to your website! Leads from the site will be sent directly to you. Don’t have a website? A […] Read more »

Can’t Convince Your Client To Buy Permanent Coverage?

Protective Life has an alternative option for you A key factor is selling an insurance policy is always the price.  Many clients can only afford term insurance and it may seem like the right choice at the time but what happens when the term expires?  For most term policies premium goes up exponentially and you need […] Read more »

Is Your Client Concerned About Outliving Their Retirement Income?

Lifestyle Income Rider on Secure LIfetime GUL will protect them if that happens No one knows when they will die so it’s hard to determine how long you will need to make your retirement savings last.  American General Life has introduced a Lifestyle Income Rider on their Secure Lifetime GUL policies.  The policy allows your client […] Read more »

Gandolfini’s $30 Million Estate Tax Mistake

Don’t let your client’s make the same mistake The IRS will be the biggest beneficiary of actor James Gandolfini’s estate thanks to poor estate planning.  Gandolfini’s estate was worth an estimated $70 Million at the time of his death.  Gandolfini had a will but that was not enough to protect his estate from the IRS.  Gandolfini […] Read more »

Moody’s Upgrades Lincoln National Rating

Raised from A1 to A2 and outlook is stable Moody’s Investor Service raised its credit rating for Lincoln National Corporation by one step and they are now listed as A2 and the outlook is stable.  The upgrade reflects the group’s strong business profile, highlighted by multiple and productive distribution channels according to a recent article […] Read more »