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Archive for March 2013

Maybe we should retire the word “retire”

{March 29th, 2013} by Staff Writer

Today’s retirees are not going to live the post-work dream of previous generations. In fact, most people can expect to work at least part-time for another 10 to 15 years after they turn 60, thanks in large part to a lack of pensions to cover people’s expenses in their sunset years. Between 2010 and 2020, […]

How to talk to your aging parents about money

{March 29th, 2013} by Staff Writer

A 2012 Fidelity study finds that nearly one-quarter of adult children think their parents need help when it comes to financial planning — especially retirement planning and avoiding scams. Nearly all seniors, however, do not think they need any help. For those adult kids who want to have a money talk with their folks, it […]

MetLife Could Put $90 Million Into N.C

{March 29th, 2013} by Andrew Kenney, The News & Observer (Raleigh, N.C.)

March 29–CARY –Cary andWake County each could payMetLife about $1.9 million in cash incentives, according to staff projections. In exchange, the company could put more than $85 million into  a Cary campus by 2017. Under a rough-draft deal approved unanimously by the Cary Town Council on Thursday night, Cary and the county would make annual […]

Women's Retirement Planning Woefully Inadequate, Study Finds

{March 29th, 2013} by Shelley Emling

A new study on women and retirement shines a light on some sobering statistics: nearly half of baby boomer women have no retirement strategy, while more than half either expect to work after 65 or simply do not plan to retire. According to findings released this month by the Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies, most […]

Genworth to sell wealth management business

{March 29th, 2013} by Warren S. Hersch

Genworth Financial, Inc., Richmond, Va., has announced it has reached an agreement to sell its Wealth Management business, including Genworth Financial Wealth Management and alternative solutions provider, the Altegris companies, to a partnership of Aquiline Capital Partners and Genstar Capital. The sale price is expected to be approximately $412.5 million and the company will record […]

Prudential fined for failed bid for AIG’s Asia arm

{March 29th, 2013} by Danica Kirka

LONDON (AP) — Britain’s financial services regulator has fined insurer Prudential PLC £30 million ($45.5 million) and censured its chief executive, over the company’s handling of a failed bid to acquire rival the Asian subsidiary of American International Group in 2010. The fine from the Financial Services Authority centers on Prudential’s ambitious attempt to buy […]

S&P 500 Breaks Record

{March 28th, 2013} by ALEXANDRA SCAGGS

After weeks of false starts, the Standard & Poor’s 500-stock index finally broke a six-year-old closing high to mark a new all-time new record. The push to record territory came in midmorning trading, as the S&P 500 broke past its previous record close of 1565.15 on Oct. 9, 2007. The S&P 500 gained 6.34 points, […]

No. 1 Obstacle For Financial Planning? Lack Of Time

{March 28th, 2013} by PR Newswire Association LLC

MILWAUKEE, March 26, 2013 /PRNewswire/ –Northwestern Mutual today released data from its 2013 Planning and Progress Study showing that more than six in ten (63%) Americans say their financial planning needs improvement; and that the No. 1 obstacle is not having enough time (24%). “There’s an interesting parallel that exists between managing your finances and […]

Social media: Look, we're doing it!

{March 28th, 2013} by Sheryl J. Moore

You can do just about anything online these days: shop for curtains; date people in other countries; video chat with elderly relatives; share business documents; read books; publish blogs; play games about birds, farms and jewels… Yet, in an age when you can tweet back and forth with Donald Trump, many people have a hard […]

Middle-class Americans saved $1,400 less by 2005 because of income inequality

{March 28th, 2013} by Staff Writer

A new research paper finds that because of income inequality, middle-income households could have been saving $1,400 more annually by 2005 if their income growth had also kept pace with that of the top 10 percent. Part of the savings discrepancy is chalked up to a “keeping up with the Joneses” mentality among middle-income families […]

Insuring foreign nationals: Changes in underwriting criteria create new planning opportunities

{March 28th, 2013} by Ron Roth

Acquiring life insurance for foreign nationals has always been a difficult segment of the market. This is especially true for those who do not reside in the United States. As our economy continues to grow into one that is global in nature, we come into contact with individuals from all over the world who need […]

OneAmerica achieves record results in 2012

{March 28th, 2013} by Jim Gavin

Contact: Jim Gavin, Media Relations Manager (317) 285-4168 or jim.gavin@oneamerica.com Indianapolis (March 28, 2013) – The companies of OneAmerica® achieved record overall sales in 2012, breaking the previous high water mark for the financial services enterprise set in 2011. The growth was driven by total individual life sales and 401(k) sales, both of which increased […]

Ignorance is not bliss

{March 27th, 2013} by Sam J. Friedman, Val Srinivas

Many consumers don’t know enough about the most common products marketed to help address their retirement savings and income needs, accentuating the challenge facing life insurance and annuities providers struggling to connect with prospects, a survey by Deloitte’s Center for Financial Services confirmed. For example, nearly 40 percent surveyed by Deloitte don’t know anything about […]

Pinterest: Why should advisors give it a chance?

{March 27th, 2013} by Vanessa De La Rosa

There really isn’t anything to lose — only a couple of minutes here and there. Let me anticipate some of your questions and provide some thorough answers. When it comes to advisors and social media, Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn are usually considered the top ways to project your brand’s voice and interact with prospects. Pinterest, […]

Annuities + Living Benefits = Unknown Future

{March 27th, 2013} by Linda Koco

The possibility that the very popular guaranteed living benefit (GLB) features in annuities could one day become a so-yesterday item is difficult for today’s annuity professionals to fathom. Yet that is something that state regulators are thinking about as they put the finishing touches of a new Annuity Buyers Guide. Regulators don’t want to describe […]

How the recession has changed retirement planning

{March 27th, 2013} by Philip Rousseaux

The economy may be recovering, but some of the changes wrought by the Great Recession will be long-lasting. Anyone planning for retirement, no matter what their age, needs to take those changes into account. People in their 40s and younger have some time to retool their plan, but baby boomers need to think with more […]

Are Middle-Class Worries An Advisor Opportunity?

{March 27th, 2013} by Ann Marsh

Nearly half (or 45%) of all middle-class households spend all — or more than all — that they make every month, according to a survey by NestWise, LPL Financial’s new online planning service for middle-class investors. The good news for advisors: A total of 65% of the survey’s respondents said they wish they had someone […]

Americans’ trust in advisors declines

{March 26th, 2013} by Warren S. Hersch

Only one in five Americans fully trusted their financial advisor in 2012, a four-point decline since 2010, according to a new report. Hearts & Wallets, Hingham, Mass., discloses this finding in the survey, “Trust-Building Practices: Updated Empirical Analysis of What Drives Trust.” The survey reveals the levels of trust that Americans place in their advisors […]

Turn Do-It-Yourselfers Into Clients

{March 26th, 2013} by Donald Jay Korn

Why do so many people handle their own investments, rather than use an advisor? A bad experience? Cost concerns? Neither of the above, according to a new survey for theDeloitte Center for Financial Services. Many have a “higher comfort level in handling retirement planning on their own” and a “belief that they don’t need professional […]

Mass. Proposes Background Checks For Advisors

{March 26th, 2013} by Kenneth Corbin

Massachusetts-based financial advisors could soon have to submit to a criminal background check under a proposed reform to the registration process in that state. Securities regulators in theBay State are asking for comments from the public on an amendment to the application process that would require investment advisor representatives (IARs) to submit a Criminal Offender […]

Longevity Risk Not Discussed By Most Middle-Income Americans

{March 26th, 2013} by PRNewswire

CHICAGO, March 26, 2013 /PRNewswire/ –One out of every four 65-year olds today will live past age 90. Yet, for 87 percent of our country’s middle-income Americans age 55 and older, the idea of one’s own longevity is often not contemplated or discussed, according to a new study released by the Bankers Life and Casualty […]

NAIC Testifies In Support Of Streamlined Producer Licensing Legislation

{March 26th, 2013} by Cyril Tuohy

Monica J. Lindeen, vice president of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC), has testified in support of the National Association of Registered Agents and Brokers Reform Act, known as NARAB II, which would streamline insurance producer licensing. Speaking before a Senate panel earlier this month, Lindeen said NARAB II strikes the balance between protecting […]

De-Risking DB Pensions Moves Into Higher Gear

{March 26th, 2013} by Cyril Tuohy

Paying out a one-time lump-sum to retirees to trim the risk of defined benefit pension plans – a move known as “de-risking” — is growing in favor in 2013 as companies look to shrink liabilities. That’s the conclusion of a survey of 230 U.S. employers by the benefits consulting firm Aon Hewitt. “There’s no question, […]

The American Annuity Shuffle Begins

{March 26th, 2013} by Linda Koco

Year-end individual annuity sales results provide plenty for annuity aficionados to ponder. There were some sorry-looking numbers, for sure, but also some intriguing surprises. Some would say the carriers were doing a dance, or at least a shuffle. As for the sorry numbers, LIMRA’s latest report shows that variable and fixed annuity sales combined were […]

Help your clients ease into the retirement cycle

{March 26th, 2013} by Briggs Matsko

The retirement conversation can be daunting both for the advisor and the client. However, it’s a necessary discussion that my practice approaches using a unique strategy we call the “EASE” process. We approach retirement planning in a manner that helps make our clients feel secure rather than overwhelmed in their futures. In separate appointments, we […]

Estate planning in a post-fiscal cliff world

{March 26th, 2013} by David Port

As closely as many Americans have been monitoring the high-stakes political jousting over federal monetary policy in Washington, D.C., perhaps no one has been paying more rapt attention to Uncle Sam’s adventures on the brink of the fiscal cliff than members of the estate planning community. Now, with the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 […]

Overcoming the silver bullet syndrome

{March 26th, 2013} by Karl Schilling

The existence of a magic remedy or a silver bullet keeps scams and fraud alive and well. When you give up this one belief and accept that success is possible only through a structured work ethic, great financial results can be had. Great wealth for little or no effort, free money, quick returns, overnight success, […]

Still wary of advisers, investors using direct retail channel

{March 26th, 2013} by Andrew Osterland

Availability and ease of web-based tools an attraction; online brands ‘unscathed’ Record highs in U.S. stocks may be bolstering market sentiment but, even as the financial crisis fades into history, U.S. investors remain largely distrustful of advisers and are putting more of their money into the direct retail channel. Assets in the direct channel, which […]

Do rich people buy annuities?

{March 26th, 2013} by Stan Haithcock

The rich are usually rich for a reason. So do annuities even get their attention when it comes maximizing their investment goals? A recent industry consumer study showed that almost 7 out of 10 annuity buyers have a household income of less than $100,000 a year. Without getting into an argument of what the definition […]

Acute Shortage Of Top Advisors

{March 25th, 2013} by Charles Paikert

If you haven’t had to fill any vacancies in a while, your next job posting may offer a rude awakening. Recruiting and hiring experienced, client-facing advisors with ultra high-net-worth experience is extremely difficult right now, with demand high and supply low, say a number of executive search specialists. Although the job market for all advisors […]

Top 5 ‘don’ts’ for financial advisors

{March 25th, 2013} by Steven McCarty

With so many rules and regulations, selling life insurance or annuities can be a minefield for advisors. But by following these five “don’ts,” you can walk the straight and narrow and help your clients achieve financial success. 1. Don’t misrepresent your products. Click here to read…

Younger Generations Lag Parents in Wealth-Building

{March 25th, 2013} by Annie Lowry

WASHINGTON — Pearl Brady has a stable job with good benefits and holds two degrees, a bachelor’s and a master’s. But despite her best efforts, she has no savings, and worries that it will be years before she manages to start putting away money for a house, children and eventually retirement. Pearl Brady of Brooklyn […]

Private Equity Has A Yen For VA Deals

{March 25th, 2013} by Linda Koco

Variable annuity companies might become the apple of private equity eyes in 2013. That’s according to a new report from Deloitte, which says the appetite for insurance mergers and acquisitions among private equity firms appears to be on the rise, “especially in the variable annuity space.” The report does not name the carriers that might […]

Boomers Say Retirement Is Out Of Reach

{March 25th, 2013} by PR Newswire

BLOOMINGTON, Ill., March 19, 2013 /PRNewswire/ — The closer Americans get to their golden years, the more they say retirement is out of reach. According to the latest COUNTRY Financial Security Index® survey, only one third of Americans overall think a middle-income family can save for a secure retirement. Those nearest retirement are most skeptical, […]

Consumer adoption of e-signature in the insurance industry

{March 25th, 2013} by Jim Ferrell

Tablet devices with touch screen e-signature capabilities are seen as the bridge to which carriers can begin to see real technology adoption and return on their STP investments, while jointly presenting a competitive advantage to their field force by providing a user-friendly way of completing orders for any line of business. This article will not […]

Planning our digital estate

{March 25th, 2013} by David Shields

When estate planning, most everyone remembers to include instructions for the disposal of typical assets such as bank accounts, property, vehicles, homes and annuities. A growing concern, however, is what to do with a person’s digital assets: emails, social media accounts and online banking, among others. Few of us would think to mention such details […]

Insurance Licensing and Other State Regulations Considered Redundant, Burdensome

{March 25th, 2013} by Andrew Simonelli

Washington, D.C. – March 20, 2013 – New research findings released by the Insured Retirement Institute (IRI) shows that maintaining state insurance licenses across multiple jurisdictions is a regulatory obstacle that may impede the sale of retirement income products. Considering that most financial advisors, 83 percent, are licensed in multiple states, the redundant processes are […]

The Annuity Disconnect Is Here—Now What?

{March 25th, 2013} by Linda Koco

Annuities are in a worse position than life insurance when it comes to consumer attitudes toward the products, according to a new study by Conning. The researchers are referring to the widely publicized disconnect that many consumer surveys have detected between what consumers say about needing annuity and life products and what consumers actually do […]

Bill allowing multistate insurance sales on fast track

{March 25th, 2013} by Mark Schoeff Jr.

A Senate hearing on legislation that would make it easier to obtain licenses to sell insurance in multiple states has pushed the bill into high gear in Congress. Bills have been introduced in the House and Senate that would create the National Association of Registered Agents and Brokers as a clearinghouse for nonresident-insurance-agent and broker […]

Why Twenty-Somethings Aren't Doomed to Be Poor (but Thirty-Somethings Might Be)

{March 25th, 2013} by Jordan Weissmann

As we’re all too aware by now, it’s been a raw decade for young Americans. The job market still has a giant, recession-shaped crater in it. A college degree is more expensive yet more essential than ever. Wages are stagnant. All of this adds up to a single sad possibility, according to the New York […]

Retirement preparedness unchanged since 2011

{March 25th, 2013} by Warren S. Hersch

The percentage of workers confident about having enough money for a comfortable retirement is unchanged from record lows observed in 2011, according to new research. The Employee Benefits Research Institute, Washington, discloses this finding in its “2013 Retirement Confidence Survey: Perceived Savings Needs Outpaced Reality for Many.” Based on telephone interviews with 1,254 individuals (1,003 […]

You saved. You retired. Now what?

{March 25th, 2013} by Mark E. Caner

All their life, over and over, your clients probably have heard a familiar chant from family, friends, co-workers, financial institutions, the media and others, admonishing: “Save for retirement! Save for retirement!”  Click here to read…

Bank annuity sales at low point

{March 25th, 2013} by Michael K. Stanley

In 2012, bank-sold annuities hit their lowest point since 1999 with total annuity sales through banks totaling $29.6 billion. The findings, included in a report from Bank Insurance & Securities Research Associates (BISRA) found that annuity production at banks steadily rose from the previous low of $31 billion in 2000 every year until 2012. Annuity sales […]


AnnuitySpecs.com Releases Fourth Quarter, 2012 Indexed Sales Results

{March 22nd, 2013} by Sheryl J. Moore

Indexed Life & Indexed Annuities Set Consecutive Sales Records In 2012! AnnuitySpecs.com Releases Fourth Quarter, 2012 Indexed Sales Results Pleasant Hill, Iowa. March 18, 2013– Forty-four indexed annuity carriers participated in the 62nd edition of AnnuitySpecs.com’s Indexed Sales & Market Report, representing 99% of indexed annuity production. Total fourth quarter sales were $8.54 billion, down […]

Female advisers: Male advisers don't relate to clients

{March 22nd, 2013} by Liz Skinner

Female financial advisers seem to relate to their clients in ways that wouldn’t occur to most male advisers. Women listen to clients more and ask more questions to learn about their concerns, as well as reaching out more personally into clients’ lives, according to four female advisers who discussed the issue on a webcast hosted […]

Strapped for retirement, more hope to work longer

{March 22nd, 2013} by Michael A. Fletcher

Nearly half of Americans have little or no confidence that they are financially prepared for retirement, a problem many of them intend to solve by working longer, according to a new survey. The Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI) survey found that 10 percent of workers plan to retire between ages 66 and 69, and another […]

Tablets and e-signatures: The future of life insurance sales?

{March 22nd, 2013} by Charles K. Hirsch

I recently spoke with three top producers about how technology is changing, for better or worse, the way they do business. Here, they talk about whether they’re using e-policies and tablets and what those products mean for life insurance sales today … and down the road.  Click here to read…

1 in 600 may be owed unclaimed life insurance money

{March 22nd, 2013} by Jamie Novogrod

By Jamie Novogrod, Producer, NBC Nightly News NEW YORK — Andy and Christina Fox, retirees living in Maryland, were shocked when they received a letter in late 2011 from a small life insurance company in the Midwest. “To be honest with you, we thought it was a scam,” Chris says. “It was five years after […]

Sweet Spot For Advisors: Lump Sum Distributions

{March 22nd, 2013} by Linda Koco

Private defined benefit plans could represent an expanding market opportunity for advisors, according to Cerulli Associates. The opportunity comes from the sweet spot that opens up when people “separate” from their traditional employer-based pension plans, Cerulli indicates. Many of those “separated participants” will be looking for a new home for the assets they will take […]

Advisors Maintain Tenuous Hold On Workers, Retirees

{March 22nd, 2013} by Cyril Tuohy

Fee- and commission-based financial advisors have a tenuous hold on workers and retirees when it comes to dispensing advice, even with workers’ confidence in securing a comfortable retirement at historical lows, according to the latest Retirement Confidence Survey released by the Employment Retirement Benefits Institute (EBRI). Only 23 percent of workers and 28 percent of […]

U.S. Insurance Mergers & Acquisitions Activity Drops

{March 22nd, 2013} by PR Newswire Association LLC

HARTFORD, Conn., March 20, 2013 /PRNewswire/ –In 2012, U.S. insurance mergers and acquisitions activity fell sharply, despite conventional drivers that seemed to suggest what should have been an active year for insurance M&A, according to Conning’s annual study, “Global Insurance Mergers & Acquisitions.” “Mergers and acquisition activity in the U.S. insurance market dropped in 2012, […]

LIMRA names top 20 annuity carriers

{March 21st, 2013} by Maria Wood

The 2012 stats are in from LIMRA and Jackson National Life was the No. 1 seller of annuities last year, bumping 2011’s leader, MetLife, to third place. That shouldn’t be too much of a surprise in light of the fact that MetLife declared its intention to scale back variable annuity sales last year. Scale back […]

1 In 3 Seniors Dies With Alzheimer's Or Dementia

{March 21st, 2013} by PR Newswire Association LLC

2.3 Million Americans are “Long-Distance Caregivers” for people with Alzheimer’s; Costs for Long-Distance Caregivers are Almost Twice as High CHICAGO, March 19, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — According to the Alzheimer’s Association 2013 Alzheimer’s Disease Facts & Figuresreport released today, one in three seniors dies with Alzheimer’s or another dementia in the United States. The new report […]

AUM of independent advisors to surpass wirehouses

{March 21st, 2013} by Warren S. Hersch

Independent advisors’ share of assets under management is on track to surpass that of wirehouses’, according to a new survey. Tiburon Strategic Advisors published this finding in a new survey, “Financial Advisor Channels: An Overview of Full-Service Brokerage Firms,  Independent Advisors, & Other Financial Advisor Channels.” The report reveals that wirehouses’ share of assets under […]

Protective Life Insurance Company Introduces Protective Indexed Annuity

{March 21st, 2013} by Business Wire

Protective Life Insurance Company today announced the release of the Protective Indexed Annuity. The annuity includes a range of withdrawal charge schedules and three interest crediting strategies to help customers grow contract value over time. It also has available principal protection.   “Less-than-favorable market conditions have consumers looking for low risk investment options which offer […]

Debate over fed, state, international rules intensifies

{March 21st, 2013} by Elizabeth Festa and Arthur D. Postal

While the battle over the budget deficit, gun control and immigration grab the headlines coming out of Washington, an equally intense debate is underway over insurance regulation. As noted by a Congressional Research Service (CRS) official at a congressional hearing last month, insurance has been regulated by the states for more than 150 years. The […]

Fewer U.S. Households Have Debt, But Those Who Do Have More

{March 21st, 2013} by PRNewswire-USNewswire

WASHINGTON, March 21, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — The percentage of U.S. households holding some form of debt declined from 74 percent to 69 percent between 2000 and 2011, according to new statistics released today by theU.S. Census Bureau. At the same time, the median amount of household debt increased over this period from$50,971 to$70,000 (in 2011 […]

2012 Bank Life Sales Close to All-Time High

{March 21st, 2013} by N/A

Windsor, CT March 18th, 2013… Total life insurance premium sold through financial institutions reached $1,621 million in 2012, up 13 percent from the prior year. This represents the second highest annual production level in history for the bank channel, only 12 percent below the record $1,837 million sold in 2010. – Universal life products accounted […]


How to choose a marketing organization

{March 20th, 2013} by Sheryl J. Moore

One of the biggest challenges that newly licensed independent insurance agents face today is identifying the marketing organization that they will appoint with. It seems logical that the typical independent agent is licensed with 26 different insurance companies. After all, the agent needs to have the most competitive products in their arsenal regardless of who […]


Beacon Exec: Solvency II May Have Caused Some US Companies to Limit 4Q 2012 Indexed Annuity Sales

{March 19th, 2013} by Fran Lysiak

OLDWICK, N.J. – Solvency II requirements, increasing reserves and shareholder concerns all put a slight damper on indexed annuity sales, according to the director of sales and marketing at Beacon Research. Total sales of indexed annuities in the United States were nearly $34 billion in 2012, up about 5% from 2011, according to AnnuitySpecs.com, a […]

Indexed annuity activity down in Q4, up from 2011

{March 19th, 2013} by Michael Stanley

Total fourth quarter indexed annuity sales were $8.4 billion, down three percent from the previous quarter but up two percent when compared to the same period last year. The results, found in AnnuitySpecs.com’s Fourth Quarter, 2012 Indexed Sales Results released on Monday, March 18, were buoyed by the fact that annuity sales in 2012 set […]

Workers Saving Too Little to Retire

{March 19th, 2013} by KELLY GREENE and VIPAL MONGA

Workers and employers in the U.S. are bracing for a retirement crisis, even as the stock market sits near highs and the economy shows signs of improvement. New data show that powerful financial and demographic forces are combining to squeeze individuals and companies that are trying to save for the future and make their money […]

New, Younger Investors Wary Of Advisors

{March 18th, 2013} by Cyril Tuohy

The financial crisis of 2008 and the explosion of social media as a way to tap into sources of investment advice have given rise to a new and very different kind of young investor, one with a fair amount of skepticism about financial advisors. That’s the conclusion of the consulting firm Accenture in a new […]

How to figure out a retirement budget

{March 18th, 2013} by Craig Brimhall

The ultimate retirement- planning question is simply stated but not necessarily easy to answer: How much in savings is needed to secure a comfortable retirement? In a recent survey from Ameri-prise Financial Inc., working Americans 50 to 70 with at least $100,000 in investible assets esti- mated that what they needed to retire comfortably is, […]

Underserved small-group market provides big opportunity

{March 18th, 2013} by Jason Sanger

Recent changes in the market, government regulations and other factors have made it an ideal time to find great sales opportunities in small-business retirement plans. Consider these facts: 99.7 percent of businesses are “small,” with fewer than 500 employees.1 The small-business marketplace is the fastest growing retirement plan segment at 7 percent growth.2 Click here […]