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New Statistics on American’s Feelings About Annuities and the DOL’s Fiduciary Rule: Possibly Out of Synch

If you are searching for answers to this knowledge gap, don’t look to advisors. Results from a study released by the Harris Poll in August 2023 showed that advisors are twice as likely (80% to 40%) to include annuities as asset protection and diversification tools over EFTs. What’s the holdup?

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Profit Vultures and Compliance Culture

Among the many takeaways from the Binance charges and the Bankman-Fried trial how charisma can impact a company’s disregard for business basics, such as an accounting department in the Bankman-Fried case. Unlike cranberry sauce at Thanksgiving, you can never have too much consideration of compliance in the financial industry. Company culture can be a big player in how employees put compliance into effect.

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Luxury Lapses: Quiet Luxury and Prospect Clients

As 2023 ends, it may be that luxury brands are showing a lapse in both profit as well as sway on consumers. For financial advisors who look to track luxury brands in their marketing and advertising approaches, this could be an important trend to track. And it isn’t all negative.

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Inflation and Retirement Investing: Revisiting the Saving by Side Hustle and Its Drawbacks.

If you think inflation is last year’s news, you may be out of step with employees. COLA increases by SSA and inflation adjustments by the IRS to retirement accounts show that inflation is still running rough on employees’ savings. And now two new studies show investors are very concerned about inflation’s impact on both the date and amount of their retirement.

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Tips for Tackling Employee Concerns on Volatility

Employee concerns about worker strikes and military action in the middle east region may show anxiety about market volatility and retirement fund safety. Plan sponsors may want to pause and consider how they can use employee surveys to gauge the level of employee distress over volatility as well as how to address those concerns.

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Empowering Retirement Choices Among Plan Participants

Employees may be chafing from feeling forced towards action in other areas of their life that seems to be morality-based or “woke.” Will that discomfort translate into unhappiness with the actions of plan sponsors to encourage retirement readiness? Sponsors may have some options for how to continue incentivizing employees to enroll in retirement plans.

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Overseas Plan Participants Refresher

Events outside of the United States have been on everyone’s hearts and minds this fall. Plan sponsors may be concerned for their own families and loved ones, and also for their plan participants who have retired overseas. Nine million Americans live abroad, according to the State Department. Those living abroad may have two concerns when it comes to their retirement funds: bank account access and email.

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Benefits and Recruitment: Protect Your Online Reputation

Benefits can be an important part of the view prospective employees have of your company and whether they want to apply. How can you make sure your benefits measure up? We have a few thoughts.

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New News: Substacks for Your Plan Participants?

If you’ve been following financial writers on other platforms for topics to cover in employee education sessions, it’s worth your time to consider what Substack writers have to offer. And, if you recommend accounts on your employee education pages, adding other sources with in-depth information may increase your employees’ knowledge base. We’ve picked a few we enjoy.

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The Tax Man Cometh, and He’s Bringing a Friend: Greater Hiring at the IRS Shows a Potential for More Enforcement and Audits

The IRS’s new details on how it will increase its hiring shows a potential for increased scrutiny and potential audits for 401(k) plans and investors with complex wealth basis.

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Good Luck Gen X

For a generation named for its inability to be quantified it may come as a surprise that Generation X may go down in history for having the worst numbers, at least when it comes to retirement. Generation X, those now in their 40s and 50s, account for about one-fifth of the population, a significantly smaller cohort than other generations and yet their worries are weightier than others.

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Communications Plan Series, Part 3 of 3: Down to the Nitty Gritty on Your Calendar

For many professionals, the end of the year means nailing down the details of key business plans, like your marketing and communications plans. That is why we’ve scheduled this series on how to construct and format your communications calendar to right when you may need it.

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Can’t Touch This: AI Can’t Beat the Human Touch

These days, artificial Intelligence is top of mind for almost any professional. Financial advisors are no exception. They have often had to justify how their work can’t be replaced by that of a robot. First, were robo-indexes. Then the algorithms. And now, artificial intelligence, specifically ChatGPT. But good news humans! AI makes for a terrible financial advisor. Here’s what you should know.

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Communications Plan Series, Part 2 of 3: Measuring and Monitoring Marketing Coms

Communications plans can seem overwhelming but when they are done well, they help you measure and monitor important details, increasing prospect pools and warming up your leads. Here are a few things to think about when building a communications plan for your marketing efforts.

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Advising the Already or Soon to be Retired: It’s a Confidence Game

Financial advisors deal in confidence all day long. Whether it’s measuring the value at risk of an investment portfolio or helping a client assess their risk tolerance, confidence is a huge part of what advisors do. But when it comes to clients, you may be getting punked. New research shows that one in five Americans thinks they’ll never be able to retire. What accounts for the insecurity?

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Retirement Planning Education for Employees: Track and Stack

As Quarter 4 draws near, Plan Sponsors may be wondering how they can help employees capture the end of the year energy to plan for retirement. One of our new favorite ways is to combine a well-known method with a newer system: track and stack. Tracking habits and progress towards goals is a method known to help motivate employees towards goals. But habit stacking is a new method that is stirring up a lot of interest for its impact.

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IRAs Today: Employee Education

Some changes to IRAs in the Secure Act 2.0 may have brought employees to think about how they may want to incorporate IRAs into their retirement savings plan. Towards that end, Plan Sponsors may want to offer employees a few key details on why IRAs can benefit their savings.

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Supreme Court Cases for Sponsors

A handful of cases slated to be heard by the Supreme Court this Fall could be important for Plan Sponsors. Here’s what to know.

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Communication Overload as a Compliance Problem.

On an individual level, communication overload can be a serious problem in terms of employee productivity and job satisfaction. On an enterprise level, communication can have serious compliance repercussions. Generic tips for using to-do lists and AI to sort your inbox don’t fully address the problem and its impact on decision-making.

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Not the Same Old, Same Old, When It Comes to Getting Older

Recent studies may challenge assumptions on retirement planning, for clients and advisors. Taken together, the studies show a compelling conclusion that using a financial planner greatly increases the chances of succeeding saving sufficiently for retirement. Read on for three takeaways.

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Communications and Content Creation Series 1: Audit and Assess for Success

If the launch of a new platform rattles your marketing department, it may be because your firm’s communications plan is based too much on responding and less on a clear executable strategy. Through a series of articles, we make it easy to streamline your communications and content creation so that you can capture more leads and have a smoother pipeline of prospective clients.

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DOL’s Request for Public Comment on SECURE 2.0’s Emergency Savings Accounts

As an update to our June 2023 article on auto-enrolling employees in emergency savings accounts, we thought it might be worthwhile to highlight that the DOL is specifically requesting comment on the reporting requirements concerning Emergency Savings Accounts and detail the two questions on which the DOL seeks comment.

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A Third Option in the Struggle Between Credit Cards and 401(k)s

Credit card debt competes with saving, for retirement or emergencies, on the spreadsheet cells of your employees’ budget. This war of intentions is particularly noticeable in younger generations, like GenZ, those just entering the workforce. Here’s a review of how credit card debt impacts retirement saving.

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Plan Participant Education: Five Places to Start

New research shows that over half of all plan participants can’t pass a basic retirement education quiz. But where to start? Here are a few suggestions of where to begin with a plan participant education program.

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About Those Incentives: Is Your Gift Allowed Under Secure Act 2.0 on Enrollment Incentives?

Deliberating over de minimis incentives to boost participation in 401(k) and 403(b) plans? We discuss the details of the new provision in this article about Section 113 of the Secure 2.0 Act.

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Beau Adams
Executive Vice President, BCG
John Correll
Client Relations Team Leader
Kevin Bonner
Regional Retirement Sales Director
Nina Wilkinson
Client Relations Manager
Robert Terry
Retirement Plan Sales Manager


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