Leading tech stocks including Apple, Amazon, Google parent Alphabet, Microsoft and Netflix have rebounded to achieve combined net gains of $916.2 billion so far this year, recouping almost all the losses from their weak performance in late 2018. With several of them releasing their first-quarter earnings reports this week, investors and fund managers expect their winning run to continue.
A proposal by Nobel laureate Richard Thaler to allow people to use part of their 401(k) accounts to increase their Social Security payments is drawing criticism from industry members, including the Insured Retirement Institute's Dan Zielinski, who called opening up the Social Security system "the third rail of politics." He said IRI is "focused on what's doable today, and we have a bill out there that's doable today," referencing the SECURE Act.
Incorporating an income annuity into a retirement portfolio increases income, cuts retirement stress and boosts retirees' confidence, according to a study by researchers Michael Finke and Wade Pfau from The American College. Income annuities lower the risk of outliving savings in retirement without lowering overall income, compared with an investment-only approach, the study found.
Great American Life Insurance has brought two new indexed annuity contracts to the retirement market. The American Landmark 3 is offered by retail financial professionals and the AssuranceSelect 3 Plus is available through financial institutions, and both allow owners of the contracts to withdraw cash without surrender charges after three years.
The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority issued a regulatory notice reminding advisors that they are required to have business continuity and disaster recovery plans. Advisors must review and update their plans once a year, FINRA noted.
Medicare in the US will be insolvent by 2026 and Social Security in 2035 unless changes are made, according to a report by trustees who oversee the programs. The report calls on Congress to "take action sooner rather than later to address these shortfalls, so that a broader range of solutions can be considered."
Advisors should inform their core clients when they are taking time off, writes Bryce Sanders of Perceptive Business Solutions, who offers a list of do's and don'ts for telling clients. He suggests sharing the dates of the trip but says not to "hype the luxury and expense."
Predictions from experts may cause advisors anxiety, but Scott MacKillop of First Ascent Asset Management reminds them that they have control over their futures. "Steal as many insights and ideas from the experts as you desire and weave them into your tapestry, if they have a place," he writes.
The participation rate of retirement-aged employees has reached 20%, twice as high as the number recorded in 1985, according to a United Income report. This is the highest in 57 years, says the report.
Advisers should remind clients with pets to establish contingency plans for their pets in their wills. "Pets are considered tangible property, like cars and furniture, so if your clients don't leave a plan for their pet, it won't be taken care of the way they want it to be," writes Ana Trujillo Limon, senior editor of the Journal of Financial Planning.
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