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Even the Interns?

Who is covered by your company’s 401(k) plan? Sometimes the breadth of a plan can include surprising groups, like interns. But even when it might not, there’s an argument to be made for providing coverage anyway.

The Argument for Certificate Programs, Coding Bootcamps, and Other Non-Degree Credentials

COVID-19 drastically altered the educational landscape. As enrollment fluctuates and more online options are offered, employers should consider the merits of degree alternatives both in hiring considerations, and when it comes to benefits packages.

The Importance of Benefits and Benefits Onboarding for New (and Potential) Employees

Sure, salary matters, but what’s your company’s healthcare coverage like? For most employees, the answer to that question is more important than how much they’re paid.

Community Service and Brand Growth: Three Ways Advisors Can Get Involved

Financial advising is all about cultivating trusting relationships. By giving back to their local community, advisors can demonstrate their investment in their neighborhoods and can even drive business.

Mega Wedding Mega Bust: The Small Wedding Trend is Great for Investors

In 2020, the average cost of a wedding dropped by 33%, but couples still may have to choose between a traditional wedding and a traditional starter house. Advisors may want to read up on the small wedding trend to help with this large purchase.

State and Local Legislation to Watch

When it comes to income, investing and saving for retirement, it isn’t only federal laws to keep an eye on. States may be creating new challenges and opportunities for investors as well. Here are a few we’ve noticed in the last year.

Spring Cleaning your Plan Documents

Capture the calm before your budgeting storm to assess and update your Plan Documents this Spring. The IRS’s guidance on how to prevent mishaps related to not updating plan documents is sound advice at any time of year. Most of their recommendations fall under good project management processes.

Practice Makes Perfect: How planning big purchases can help employees learn how to save for retirement

Creating a short-term savings plan for something like a new couch or a vacation is a great opportunity to learn the basics that apply to long-term retirement savings.

The Three Little Pigs Should Have Rented

While owning a home comes with many benefits, for young adults it often makes more sense to rent so that when the Big Bad Wolf comes over, someone else pays for repairs.

Plop Plop Fizz Fizz: How to Help Clients During Market Bubbles

The current hot real estate market may not be a bubble, but it may feel like one to your clients. Advice for advisors on how to keep your clients on steady footing.

Why You Need a Content Plan

Content plans (aka content calendars) will help your client communications stay organized, consistent, and on-brand. Here’s what they are and why you need one.

When it Comes to Hiring, Focus on People Not Skills

Hiring outside the box can make your organization stronger and more appealing to a wider variety of clients. After all, advising isn’t just about asset management, it’s about trust and connecting with people first and foremost.

Tax Prep and Budgeting for Employees, Freelancers, and Contractors

Tax prep is a notoriously difficult and unpopular activity, but also offers an opportunity for workers to review expenses and start gathering information to help them plan and budget. Here are five ways to use this time to budget for success.

Budgeting Basics

Most people could benefit from better budgeting behaviors, but where to start? Finding a method and the tools to support it are step one; here are some resources to help employees begin their budgeting journey.

Reignite Fried Workers with Corporate Social Responsibility

Can Corporate Social Responsibility reignite your workplace? Harnessing CSR for employee engagement can be a solution to burnout.

How to Make Sure Advisor Achievements Stay Visible to the Boss and Client

For advisors working from home, how can they make sure poor communication isn't holding back their career advancement and client relationships by making their achievements invisible?

Diversify Your Assets…and Advisors

Why do diversity and inclusion matter, and how do advisory firms go about creating and maintaining diverse, inclusive workspaces? It turns out that diversity policies aren’t the answer, but mentorship may be.

Looking Ahead: What Could be On the Menu for Regulatory Agencies in the Biden Administration

It may be tough to pinpoint what the Biden administration’s regulatory aims are as to employment and retirement policy because of the current COVID crisis. A look at who the White House has named for leadership posts could help employers get an idea of what regulatory changes could be coming.

The Pandemic Productivity Problem

While companies understandably want to keep business operations firing on all cylinders, it’s important to remember that employees are under unprecedented levels of stress. Expecting regular performance in 2020 (and now 2021) can contribute to burnout that will ultimately hurt business.

How Plan Sponsors Can Help Employees Navigate a Particularly Difficult Winter

Winter can be hard for many people in a good year, but this winter has been especially difficult. How can plan sponsors help employees weather personal mental health related stress and move forward with confidence?

Merry Covidmas! How to Handle Holiday-Related Viral Spread

Let’s face it: people traveled for the holidays. For employers, this means that the likelihood of employees getting the coronavirus skyrockets. How can plan sponsors help prevent, and also prepare for, the inevitable?

How to Talk to Clients about Market Complexity

What do investors need right now, and how can advisors continue to build relationships and communicate effectively in a way that helps clients navigate the current economic whirlpool?

What Clients Want to Know about the Vaccine’s Effect on the Market

It’s easy to believe that the coronavirus vaccines are going to quickly stabilize the economy, but that’s not quite true.

Is That the Light at the End of the Tunnel or an Oncoming Train?

Like an M. Night Shyamalan movie, the last year has been filled with unexpected twists. Here’s how advisors can help explain to clients why we haven’t bounced back yet, and what signs of recovery to look for.

Annuities and GenX – Why New Annuity Rules May Help the Hopeless Generation

Missed the major changes to Annuities Rules? Catch up Quick on how these rules could be beneficial the “hopeless generation”.

Millennials, Gen Z, and Early Retirement

Young people want to retire early but tend to underestimate cost of living expenses that make this unlikely. What factors aren't they considering (that they should be), and how do FAs help them realistically save for early retirement?

Is the doomsday clock still ticking on Social Security?

Social Security is primarily funded through payroll taxes; however, due to the significant layoffs caused by COVID-19, 10.7 million fewer workers are paying into social security, plus many others have had their hours cut. Taken together, this means that Social Security contributions have slowed down significantly.

Financial Stress Factors During the Pandemic

It’s a stressful time in almost every way possible. How are employees feeling this financially, and what gaps are they looking for plan sponsors to fill?

American's Declining Quality of Life

Of the 168 countries surveyed for the 2020 Social Progress Index, America currently ranks 28th and is one of three countries (joining Brazil and Hungary) where citizens are worse off than in 2011 when data collection began. So what's contributing to this decline in quality of life?

Be PEP-pared: Pooled Employer Plans 101

Pooled Employer Plans (PEPs, or open MEPs) are allowed by the SECURE Act. Here’s a rundown of what a PEP is and what plan sponsors need to know about them.

Playing the Blame Game With Covid Spread in the Workplace

The recent spread of COVID-19 within the White House and beyond quickly made headlines. What lessons can employers glean from this high-profile case study of coronavirus in professional environments?

Woke-Washing Won't Cut It for Your Employee's Investments

It’s time for real change, and employees won’t settle for performative measures. However, learning what to look for comes before they can determine what’s “woke-washing” and what’s a real commitment to justice and reform.

Should Employers Worry About Jobless Benefits? Studies Say No.

Are jobless benefits a necessary and life-saving measure or a terrifying spectre worthy of Halloween? While many fear the possible economic impact, studies paint a sunnier portrait.

About that Roth IRA: Time to Talk About Tax-Advantaged Funds

How can advisors help walk their clients through a thicket of potentially globally changing financial circumstances? When it comes to circumstances that may hit client’s static budget items – like housing, transportation and taxes, advisors may be able to help clients position themselves now for potential problems later by discussing advantages, especially tax advantaged funds.

Niching Outside of Your Area Code

Now that they’re unhindered by the constraints of physical proximity that may have formerly informed at least part of their decision making, advisors can market to a wider pool of investors and therefore be more discerning in their chosen clientele.

Getting Gen Z: Updating Business Models to Get Young People Invested in Investing

TikTok, Snapchat, Instagram, oh my! Some advisors are turning to social media platforms that specialize in fast-paced content. However, these can pose compliance complications and advisors’ time may be better spent figuring out how to motivate their young clients to invest at all.

PPE Anxiety

What makes a safe workplace, and what are employees looking for when returning to work? Having a policy is only step one: making sure procedures actually work to make the workplace safer and are strictly enforced is step two.

For You or Against You? A 4-4 Split on the Supreme Court May Impact Retirement Law this Year

Unfortunately the surprise may be the passing of Justice Bader Ginsburg leaving the Court to start its October session with an even number of Justices. Here is a quick look at how a split court could impact ERISA decisions this Fall.

Not Your Grandma’s Pod People: 4 Concerns Parents Should Consider Before Joining a “Pod School”

“Pods” or small groups of families socializing and educating together during the pandemic have spiked in popularity as the school year begins. But there are some serious concerns to consider before becoming a 21st Century Pod Person; here are four of them.

Red Flag Relationships

They say there’s someone out there for everyone, but that doesn’t mean that you’re everyone’s someone. Here are a few signs that it might be time to move on from a client relationship.

An Eight Justice Court and Market Volatility

With the passing of Justice Ginsburg, there is a possibility of an even more uncertain election as there is now more volatility in the election and also less certainty that a court with only eight Justices will be able to arrive at a decision.

Peace, Love, and Understanding: Why Empathy is More Important than Ever

Every business is now using variations of the same coronavirus script about navigating “a new normal” in “these trying times”. How can advisors stand out from the crowd of inauthentic platitudes? It all starts with empathy.

Not Just Death and Taxes: Millennial Caregivers of Aging Parents

More and more adults are becoming caregivers to aging and elderly relatives, and the number of young caregivers is increasing disproportionately. What resources can plan sponsors offer employees who are trying to plan for these emotionally and financially challenging circumstances—or may already be facing them?

Real Estate Reality

The real estate market is seeing some significant changes, but not everyone can agree on what those are. Are people really leaving cities? Is Airbnb done for, or will it bounce back? Most importantly, how can sponsors help their employees find the tools and advisors they need to set themselves in the best position?

There Is No Chaos, Really: How to Help Employees Understand Coronavirus Trends

The COVID-19 pandemic disrupted markets in unexpected ways, and many are struggling to understand these new trends. With the right frame of reference, plan sponsors can help employees see the emerging consumer behavioral patterns.

Millennihilism: Investing in an Uncertain Future

It can be difficult for Millennials to envision a better future (financial or otherwise) because they have never really experienced it; after being told it’ll get better time and time again, Millennials have only been disappointed, so now some may not see a point in long-term savings. But can the sometimes-hopeful-hopelessness be the key to a more secure financial future?

Gambling, Gaming, and Investment

Is this just a game to you? For some, the answer is yes. Sports bettors have turned to the stock market, while young people are using investment apps that have the kind of gambling-adjacent features often found in video games.

Forecasting a Storm of Questions about Zero-Fee Funds

It may not be two tropical storms about to collide, but the news of Charles Schwabs’ earnings report out in mid-July questioning whether zero fee models can be sustained nipping at the heels of a case potentially pending before the Supreme Court on fees could have a major impact. Batten down the hatches because the winds of change could be coming.

Wheel of Misfortune: COVID Test Prices and Accuracy Are the Worst Guessing Game

How much does a COVID test cost? Unfortunately, like many healthcare-related questions, there’s no simple answer. There are, however, a few steps employees can take to ensure they’re minimizing their out-of-pocket expenses and getting accurate results.

Lights, Camera, Action! How to Be the Best Film Director Zoom Has Ever Seen

Zoom, Webex, Teams, oh my! Online meeting platforms are seeing an uptick in use due to the sheer volume of people working remotely, but not everyone can make every meeting. Here are a few tips for supplementing your meetings and presentations for all to enjoy…and for creating digital content to connect safely with clients.

Two Sides of the Same COVID Coin: Dipping into Retirement Savings and Early Retirement

Though early retirement and using retirement savings right now seem like ideas completely at odds with each other, the two courses of action are more similar than they seem; it’s that COVID has employees making tough retirement decisions across the board.

Vis-À-Visa: How Visa Restrictions May Affect Workers, Businesses, and Economic Recovery

To H-1B or not to H-1B, that is the question. Hundreds of thousands of workers will be unable to enter the country thanks to the recent visa restrictions. What does that mean for workers and the economy, and how should investors react?

Are Investment Subscriptions the New Netflix?

Is financial advising the new Netflix? While subscription models exist in the investment world, they’re not exactly common…but that may be changing.

Advising Small Business Owners in a Pandemic: Succession Planning Should be Priority Number 1

Small business owners don't have retirement plans, could that be because they don't have succession plans?

Mad Money: Help Your Clients Save to Save their Sanity

If your client’s work day is literally never ending now that they work from home, they may want to start a mad money account.

Working Retirement: When Its Time to Call it Quits

Not everyone wants to retire. Whatever the motivation, many older investors may have been planning on a working retirement. Those older investors probably didn’t plan on a contagious pandemic that makes them feel unsafe returning to work.

Business Insurance: Is it Time to Talk to the Insurance Guy Again?

Financial advisors may be masters at managing risk for their clients, but they should also know to risk manage their own business by having appropriate business insurance. While the mix of what makes up appropriate for one advisor necessarily differs from another, there is one clear and common thing among all advisors when it comes to insurance: no one could have seen 2020 coming.

Safety First: How Student Loans Impacted Millennials’ Investment Future

Why are Millennials more reticent to enter the stock market than their predecessors? Student loans may offer some insight.

Side Gig Superheroes

Almost half of those in the workforce have a part-time “side gig” to help pay the bills, save for retirement, or generate a little extra spending money. As the COVID-19 pandemic prompted massive layoffs and record unemployment numbers, here are a few ways gig workers can cope during this economic crisis.

Investing in a Better Future: ESG and Black Lives Matter

It’s easy for brands to adopt the language of social reform and make commitments they have no intention of keeping. Here’s how to help your clients distinguish performative allyship from real commitments to racial justice before investing.

Security Issues In the AC – After Corona

Financial advisors have a complex web of security issues to consider on a calm day. Has coronavirus made that more complicated? Maybe. Here are a few key issues to consider when reviewing your security plans while we continue to work from home at least part of the time.

Numbers Worth Watching: Surveys, Statistics and Some Good News

The news comes fast and furious these days. Vaccines are launching. Jobs are coming or going. And in the middle of all of that, it can be hard to distill what is important or what’s worthy of your attention. There is good news in that mix.

Wall Street and Main Street

Context is everything in Communications. The term “economy” is more confusing than ever. Here are a few ways to add clarity to your communications about it.

Welcome Home, Grandma!

COVID-19 may have made your parent’s plans of living independently more complex. Here are four resources a Plan Sponsor can provide their employees to tackle the topic of moving a parent into their home.

Pandora’s Box or Better than Ever? Tips for Benefits Presentations in a Pandemic

Many companies that have fiscal years not tried to the calendar year, like those who start their FY in July or schools who might start their FY in August, may be entering that open enrollment period now. Here are a few tips on how to increase your presentation game to help those employees stay focused and get the information they need.

The Shecession Cometh: Women and Investing in a Pandemic

The rate of unemployment for women in the workforce is higher than that of men, closing in on 55% of the 20.5 million jobs lost in April, Employees who relied on income from family members who are now unemployed may feel lacking in confidence just as that is most needed. Here are a few ways to raise that confidence.

How Will the CARES Act Change Your Workflow?

There are a great number of questions about how the CARES Act may change the work processes and workflow for plan sponsors. Here, we outline some ways that might happen so that plan sponsors can modify their work to meet their employees’ needs.

What is Covered by the CARES Act and What Else Might be Coming?

Most of the attention on the CARES Act involves stimulus money given to businesses and individuals. The Act also eases important restrictions on withdrawals from employee retirement plans.

Who Is Involved in implementing the CARES Act Retirement Provisions In Your Office?

The focus of this article is to consider who might need to be involved in implementing the new provisions of the CARES Act for your plan participants. As you’ll see, your workplace’s human resources, legal team, EAP, recordkeeping, information technology and facilities management teams will need to work together on this topic.

New Clients: Best Practices Are Never Old

Surveys are showing that many of those seeking out financial advisors are new to working with an advisor or haven’t sought individual advice before. Given that most financial advisors are feeling a crush of work while trying to work from home, we thought it would be helpful to reiterate the top tips for working with new clients.

What do you tell your clients who want to help?

For clients in the position to help their local economies long term, they may want more information from their financial advisors about how and where to direct their investments. For financial advisors, this can be a long conversation.

Should You YouTube?

With anything hands-on miles away from the current reality and so much perceived chaos over financial matters, advisors may feel frustrated. How can they use YouTube to help calm confusion?

What Clients Want to Hear from their Financial Advisors Right Now

Advisors may be hearing a lot from their clients right now. They may be hearing anything from panic to frustration to rage to dejection. So, with all that worry, what do clients most want their advisors to tell them? We did a round up of folks we know and trust and found the following themes.

Working from Home: Tips for Optimal Performance

Does your VPN may feel like a VPoff? In these extraordinary times, there’s so much that’s frustrating that must be abided, working from home shouldn’t be one of them. We’ve collected a few tips on how to make your work from home experience easier.

How to Speak Stress: Messaging Tips for Marketing Info In Confusing Times

In a normal year, about 18% of Americans experience high levels of anxiety. In the Spring of 2020, 37% number of people reported high levels of anxiety and stress about the COVID-19 outbreak. How can financial advisors tailor their messages to be received most easily and absorbed by stressed readers?

Volatility is the New Normal

While employees adjust to the new normal of social distancing, they may also be trying to adjust to the new normal of stock market volatility. Understanding how habituation works may help those employees to be savvy investors in the long run.

Now That It’s a Rainy Day: Calling in the Emergency Funds and Changing Hardship Definitions

If families were saving for a rainy day, that day may have come regardless of what other relief may be coming. Plan Sponsors readying to change the hardship rules in their plan documents, or who may have recently done so, may want to consider how they can assist their employees during this time.

Color Me Calm: Help Employees Stop Touching Their Dashboards

Anxious coworkers may get more anxious when they can work from home. With the liberty to check their retirement dashboards without other coworkers seeing and a highly volatile time in the stock markets, how can a Plan Sponsor help reduce some of the anxiety among employees at this difficult time?

Important Retirement Plan Administrative Notice

As the coronavirus (COVID-19) increases its impact on our communities, we want to keep you updated on the steps we’re taking to protect the health and well-being of our employees while continuing to provide exceptional service to our partners as our top priorities.

Can I Ask You Something? Why Your Clients Aren’t Asking You More Questions

Your clients may want to ask you something. In fact, your potential clients may want to ask you something. And yet you might never hear it. Why is talking about money so hard?

Pitch Perfect: How to Fine Tune Your Sales Pitches

How Can you tune up your pitch to institutional clients without feedback? Strengthen the Emotional Intelligence of your team, know when you’re facing a stone, build opportunities for creativity in your team, and let current clients test drive your pitches.

Your Time Management Misses the Target

With marketing, networking, and budget balancing tasks fighting for space in your Google calendar, you may feel that your time management skills need a tune up. Not so fast! Instead of managing your time, manage your attention.

Thinking of Offering an Employer Match to a 529 Plan? Think Deeply

As employers strive to offer more benefits to their employees, they may need to consider all the variables involved, including their own administrative capacities.

Digital Pocket Change? Employees May Be Too Ready to Rely on Money Saving Apps

They may not be as cute as Baby Yoda, but digital pocket change apps may be just as appealing. Plan Sponsors may want to round out the information employees receive about them to make sure those apps rounding up purchases don’t leave employees broke or budgets broken.

Goal Getters: Are Americans Behind in Saving for Retirement?

Are Americans meeting savings goals for their retirement? More than 50% probably aren’t even close a new survey shows.

Free Library for Your Lunch Room: Book Suggestions

The lunch room is a great place to help employees learn financial literacy. How so? Simply add a Free Library to it and encourage employees to borrow a book. Here’s a list of a few great books to get started.

On the cusp: Retirement Horizon Employees Want to Know

There will be around 10,000 people turning 65 each day for the next two decades. Those employees on the cusp of retirement may have different questions about retirement than their coworkers. While the questions may be important the framework for approaching them is more crucial.

Reskilling: Your Clients May Need Your Advice On Working With This Trend

Some estimates put the amount of employees who will need retraining in the immediate future at 54%. Your clients may be up to their elbows in figuring out reskilling programs. Here are some key points to learn about the reskilling trend.

Reliable Source: How to Capture Free Marketing Through Media Coverage

Free is almost always good. So how can you use the free marketing of media coverage in newspapers, magazines, blogs, vlogs and podcasts to your advantage without slaving over a bunch of soon to be ignored press releases?

Grammar Mistakes on the Rise: Five Tips to Keep from Similar Disasters

Want to avoid publishing marketing materials with glaring grammar mistakes? Here’s a review of common examples and a few tips.

Four Topics to Tackle in Financial Education for Employees

While everyone else is planning their physical fitness reboot for 2020, employers and HR professionals may be wondering how they can improve employees financial fitness. Here are four ways to tackle financial education for your company in 2020.

Hardship and Leakage: New IRS Rules May Have Employees Asking Tough Questions

It’s terrifying how little Americans have saved for emergencies. Will a relaxing of the hardship withdrawal rules by the IRS help or will it cause more leakage from retirement accounts?

Cultural Competency and Financial Literacy for Employers

How can an employer use the concept of cultural competency to ensure that their financial literacy programs hit the mark? Without cultural competency, an employer’s financial education programs may miss the mark and leave employees out.

Are you really ready to grow? Scaling Your Business for Growth

How can you ready your business for growth? Here are solutions for addressing growth challenges in personnel, regulation and technology.

Diversified Streams of Income and Your Email: Beware!

Multiple streams of income may seem like the American Dream: dollars dancing like sugar plum fairies in your head. To a lawyer, it’s something different: nightmarish compliance scenarios like mice in the nutcracker scattering everywhere.

The New C-Suite: How to Position Your Marketing to Reach the Right Folks

With new titles like Chief Development Officer and Chief Growth Officer, it can be hard to know who to pitch to and who is a must not miss on a marketing invite. Here are a few insights about the newest members of the C-Suite.

You Are Not a Bus: Why Choosing the Right Clients is a Key to Business Success

Choosing the right clients, and how you decide to forgo those that aren’t for you, can ensure business success, even when it seems crazy to turn clients away. Here’s why.

The Retirement Heartbreak Hidden in “OK Boomer”

Dig deeper into the Millennial insult "OK Boomer"and you’ll find that the emotions behind the snark belie legitimate retirement worries of a generation. Here's how financial advisors can use what they see in OK Boomer social media posts to answer those worries with their expertise.

The Impact of Impact Investing

Socially Responsible Investing now tops $30 million in AUM. Is Impact Investing catching up? Read on for details on a new survey in Impact Investing and how this may show a trend.

You Can Use Your HSA for That? Helping Employees Understand How HSAs Work

As open enrollment time for health care plans comes around again, employees may be confused about the role that a HSA can play in both their retirement. In fact they may be surprised at some of ways they can use an HSA.
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