While the U.S. news media seems steeped in the benefits of mindfulness and learning to concentrate or focus, maybe its time to hear the benefits of unfocusing for a little while.
In the wake of an unexpected separation, employees may be focused on their immediate major financial needs. Retirement planning is most likely the largest, but farthest from top of mind, for most couples. Yet, Plan Sponsors may be able to help with just a few tweaks to their EAP information.
There may be something deeper in the recent revival of interest in Bitcoin, and Plan Sponsors should take note.
For some advisors the last five years have been like a dust storm, obliterating any boundaries of where we’d come from. And where we had planned to go? How can you get back, and stick with, your own goals?
In late 2016 two female focused financial platforms faced off. One survived. How does that success help advisors understand financial feminism?
While you may wish that those rules would go up in a puff of smoke, you definitely don’t want the communications to disappear in 24 hours. That means when it comes to ephemeral communications you need to be on your toes.
Not too long ago the lawsuit pending against Anthem was settled for a remarkable $23.6 million figure. And while that amount may give plan sponsors pause, several other aspects of the case are worth noting. Here’s a deep dive into several parts of the lawsuit and settlement that can help plan sponsors.
Planning for an audit sounds like rooting for a root canal, but unlike unwanted dentistry, planning for a plan audit can significantly lessen the pain involved. Here we detail both IRS and DOL audit processes so you can be prepared.
Employees may want to treat retirement like their laundry: set it and forget it. But retirement, and any investing, isn’t as easy as lather, rinse, repeat. Here’s how plan sponsors can help employees appropriately use automatic investment tools.
Recent decisions and plea agreements between FINRA and financial advisor firms show that internal compliance controls are more important than ever. We’ve reviewed a few examples from the agency to give you a sense of how to avoid similar pitfalls.
A financial advisor may keep the doctor away. Two new studies show that financial advisors may play an important role in worker’s sense of well-being. Knowing the numbers may help you understand how to help your clients even more.
While many may be watching the market for the next signs of recession, it may be smart to also keep an eye on the courts. Here is a quick overview of what to keep in mind from the highest court for the Fall of 2019 on ERISA.
For those who work as advisors to plan sponsors, understanding how their benefit software may change is crucial to maintaining a good customer service. It’s also crucial to know when that benefit software may change. So, what’s new in benefit software?
Just like their attorney, advisors may have specific forms they prefer to use again and again, scripts work for making sure all points are covered in talking to new clients or in describing the risk of an investment. Similarly, scripts can work for ethical situations. Here’s how.
Not only are other options out there for communicating with your clients besides the boring PowerPoint slides but your competition may be using them. Here’s a run through of a handful of the best alternatives to Powerpoint and also how the other game in town can help you communicate with new audiences.
Can you name what you've built, won, earned, sold and mentored? Having your elevator pitch polished and ready may help in a chance encounter with a potential client, but brag sheet may help you be more flexible in presenting your experience to potential clients over the long term.
There’s plenty to love about IRAs. For some employees looking at an IRA may be the first step towards a larger, more robust retirement plan. For others, it may quench some fears around stock market stability which gets them started in investing.
Positivity can increase your immune system, reduce your risk of heart attack and possibly even lower your rate of depression. But, can such happy vibes be good for investing and retirement readiness?
If your company, like most relies on outside contractors, your employees scratching their heads about why the contractor’s get better benefits. Here’s a few tips on how to talk to employees about benefits.
Boosting employee engagement can sometimes come from new leadership or management. But it can also come without such a massive shake up. Your management can change their tune without throwing the band off the stage.
20% of Americans are missing out on an employer match in their retirement accounts. Read on for why that might be and what plan sponsors can do.
Employees are more willing ever to consider jumping ship for other opportunities. How can a plan sponsor keep up with an increasingly mobile workforce?
Benefits and perks are a major consideration in weighing job offers. Nearly 80% of those surveyed would take additional benefits over an increase in salary. Read on for more on benefits that capture recruit’s attention
So how does a plan sponsor beat news of overnight success stories to encourage saving for retirement? By using the same behavior that they want an employee to engage in: start small by using examples that are easy to digest.
After years of stagnant wages and industry shake ups, it seems like the economy has settled and your clients can pose for selfies as they float down easy river. So how do you get those clients to be ready for the next round of rapids?
With all eyes on the federal government’s various efforts at reforming the fiduciary rules for financial advisors and administrators, attention may have slipped from the States.
Clients are doing their homework more on potential advisors. So before you start that new push for more clients, make sure you can make it as easy as possible for clients to find the information they are searching for.
You don’t have to look too far to find the road to Wall Street littered with the shells of robo-investing platforms that just couldn’t make it. So if the algorithm has a case of the blues, what takes its place? A love of research-backed stories.
The newest buzzword in business lingo may already be baked in to your financial services. How can you show your clients you’ve been “future proofing” their investments all along?
Think hobbies are only important for work life balance? Think again. Research shows that learning new skills can help you advance your career. Aside from networking opportunities and potential referral sources, having a passion outside your job can make you better at it. Here's how.
In 2017, we wrote about how Investment Monitoring was a gaining prominence in financial advisory services. In the two years since that article, risk management and investment monitoring has become even more widespread. What’s changed?
The advice given to many about how to pay down debt or save for a specific event, like a wedding, anniversary vacation or new house, is to create separate savings accounts. But can you have too many accounts? Is there a price to pay other than marital harmony or peace of mind?
Just like you probably don’t need the fifth set of towels in the guest bathroom, employees may be holding onto investments or savings processes that are no longer needed. So how can plan sponsors help their employees spring clean their investment plan?
While most Plan Sponsors would think that creating tools that help employees see how their small indulgences add up, and usually add up to keeping them from saving, is helpful, there is a small contingent of voices arguing against that advice.
When it comes to money, children may learn more from by the actions we take than by the words we say. For parents working with a tight budget, whether in the short or long term, this can lead children to grow up with unwarranted concerns about money. How can plan sponsors help parents prevent that?
If the topic of retirement planning is slightly grim, how can a plan sponsor help employees learn to save, and learn to talk to each other about saving? Vacation planning might be a gateway into learning important aspects of saving for retirement.
Knowing where retirement planning happens may help advisors understand the hidden limits an investor or client is facing. Location may be everything if retirement planning happens at work.
A new DOL rule would allow multiple, smaller employers to band together to offer group retirement plans. To qualify the employers must have a common affiliation – they must operate in the same industry or trade or be companies with the same owner or be in the same geographic area such as a city or county.
Want to increase your email newsletter's open rate? Adding color may seem like a great option. But before you go tossing handfuls of brights across your page, you may want to stop and read a few key tips on color theory.
Recently, many institutional investors showed signs of tiring from the non-traditional investments like timber that seemed to mark the last five years. What’s causing the change?
Plan Sponsors can use the news about recent drops in life expectancy to help educate employees about the need for individualization in retirement planning.
Is it possible for plan sponsors to encourage retirement readiness in their employees by capturing some of the excitement about Marie Kondo? You bet! The Frugality and Minimalism trends can help employees overcome old beliefs about savings.
With access to financial information getting easier thanks to new and proposed regulations from the SEC, it may be worthwhile for employees to know where to look to find the best financial information about companies and funds.
Can Plan Sponsors use the news of government employees’ use of loans from retirement accounts as a backstop to unemployment to help employees understand their retirement options? Here are a few key points to borrowing from retirement accounts that employees may need information about.
The urge to get rid of student loans is constant and distracting, and probably a little sweaty. But employees look and listen before refinancing their student loans to make sure they end up with a better bargain.
Resilience has been a hot topic in parenting and work-life balance discussions lately and for good reason. Resilience helps employees face life stress without negative impact on productivity. Employees can be taught to build resilience and be more ready to face unexpected financial events without too heavy an impact on their retirement readiness.
Lately, it seems like most financial news seems to question conventional wisdom as often as they apply it. So, if it’s being questioned more often, is the wisdom even conventional anymore? Now more than ever, employees may need more individualized advice.
Childless couples may have different needs in retirement planning, the biggest of which may be not be treated like they won the lottery because they don’t, or can’t, have children.
Socially Responsible Investing, such as ESG Funds, continues to show strong performance. Here’s an update on how the SRI market has faired since our last post in 2017.
New studies show that Millenials (or Gen Z) are starting to treat the term capitalism negatively. How can advisors adjust their messaging and communications to avoid the negative feelings about capitalism?
Retirees with jobs in retirement may be a growing new trend. What do advisors need to know about the new trend of choosing a retirement job and how that impacts retirement savings?
With HSAs now a near must for many employees, clients may be asking questions about how best to offer HSAs and FSAs to their employees. Those clients may also wonder how HSAs interact with plan coverage.
Americans are, without a doubt, retiring later. Does that mean they now need less to money stashed away for retirement? Have Americans changed the tried and true standards for retirement readiness?
Burnout leads to terrible decisions. As they burn the candle at both ends, employees may be making financial decisions that are equivalent to lighting piles of money on fire. How can plan sponsors help?
With 1 in 3 Americans having less than $5000 in retirement, many will need to spend their later years catching up. What do employees need to know about IRS rules on setting aside extra savings in their fifties?
Want to find a new way to get ideas about retirement across to your employees? Try using examples from the movies to engage your employees on retirement readiness.
In 2018, California created new regulations that require greater diversity on corporate boards. How can advisors use these changes to increase collaboration and client contact? The key may be how boards may become more focused on company culture.
While they make for explosive interpersonal interactions, Presidential races may also cause concern among your clients about what impact a hotly contested presidential race might have on the stock market. It turns out those concerns are based in truth. Presidential elections do impact stock markets.
The key to finding the right people might be to focus more on how you find them and less on your job description or interview process. Letting go of what you’ve always tried and trying these ideas might help you find your client’s new favorite staff person.
as competition on advisor fees heats up a return to the basic business school principles of price setting might help ease stress and help create a workable plan to fill your pipeline of business prospects.
How can you help an employee bridge the gap from their current self who works hard and saves for retirement instead of eating out more often and their future, older retired self who gets to play with grandchildren? One method may be simply to communicate with the future self.
A new trend of working more than one job to cover rising health care costs or make up for stagnant wages has some employees nearing retirement asking how they should plan for retirement. Do they retire from everything?
It is the season to worry about a recession. Actually, many employees often worry constantly about recessions and the resulting uncertainty in their finances. Reducing worry in your employees, for whichever reason generates it, can help them continue to be productive.
Employees who may be in the eye of a personal storm, like divorce, death of a loved one, or other upheaval, may not recognize that their decision making is decreasing in effectiveness. And importantly, those life events often involve changes to retirement accounts.
Countless research reports show that clients who respond to market changes based on fear harm their retirement readiness. But fear impacts decision making more than just by adding additional transaction costs or advisor fees.
2018's greatest tech trend may be the movement away from social media. If the clients you have (or want to have) are moving away from Facebook and Instagram don't chase them there. Instead, follow these key tips to increase your communications strategy.
Client communications can be more than one directional. One of the easiest ways to engage your clients is to include polls and surveys in newsletters and blog posts to boost retention.
As the financial advisory industry lurches towards another dynamic year of quick pivots and increasing stress on advisor fees, the pressure on advisors could lead to chronic stress or burnout. And those two results can drastically undermine even the best compliance program.
Comparing your results to others can be motivating to some, but when comparing turns into trying to keep up with your social circle it can harm results instead.
Over the long run, those too on restrictive budgets end up bugging out and making poor money decisions. Planning for splurges can help both with your employee’s waistline and wallet. So how does it work?
Social media can be a great tool to tackle sticky subjects like debt and retirement readiness planning. It’s also fantastic for gathering resources and ideas from how other companies are educating their employees about financial matters. But it can also be full of pyramid schemes and false news.
Employees looking to balance work and family while also budgeting may feel hemmed in by their options. They may avoid options to save time because they think they are too expensive. But there may be some magic to luxuries after all.
Sometimes a rose isn’t always a rose. Some words or phrases have more than one meaning, and when that happens in the financial world, it can cause confusion for clients and advisors.
Does the jargon in your communications make your clients miss the boat? Not catch what you are saying? Not smell what you are stepping in? A quick review of English slang can keep you from leaving readers out in the cold.
Design thinking imports the principles for design and architecture into business and personal planning by flipping the problem solving to zero in on the problem.
Think you’ll lose your mind if you read one more thing about the importance of networking? You’re not alone. So, if networking is a worn out welcome mat, what IS a tactic that can help boost business? Collaboration.
There’s more to health care and retirement than explaining an HSA. Sponsors can help employees by educating themselves on the link between health, stress and retirement saving.
While no one can plan for what they don’t know, there are unexpected events that happen frequently enough that employees should know how to plan for them. Plan Sponsors can help employees understand how to prepare for financial surprises.
It seems like every two years the news likes to take issue with 401ks, with articles like top 6 problems with 401(k) accounts. What are employees hearing about so called problems with 401(k)s and how can they respond?
Many think those who work a lot make (and save) a lot. The true fact is those who compulsively work (or might be called workaholics) are terrible savers. What can employers do to ensure those who work too much also understand to save?
With news ringing about new wire transfer fraud alerts from the FBI, advisors may want to examine all the other electronic means of transferring money and make sure they are knowledgeable about them.
FINRA’s new rule on electronic signatures highlights the differences between state and federal law. What do advisors need to know about e-signatures and how that might impact their work?
FINRA has had a busy season, including consolidating its enforcement unit and allowing for e-signatures. Get up to speed on what changes are happening at FINRA and clients need to understand about those changes
2018 saw a flurry of information, and countless opt-in/out messaging about the GDPR. Yet, states and other regulators have been moving improving cyber security protections all year long. Read on for more information on cyber laws you might not have encountered and how they could impact on how financial advisors practice.
Horace Mann Educators Corporation to acquire Benefit Consultants Group to expand strategic capabilities in the retirement market
Statistics show that almost half of young families have significant student loan debt. How can employers help educate their employees, especially those who may want additional degrees so they can specialize, about debt, savings and retirement planning?
In the past, doomsday scenarios or calling people out for behavior was thought to be a way to change their behavior. Fear based techniques have a short shelf life and shame is counterproductive. What works? Here are a few tips on using motivation to help employees invest.
Employees complain about not having enough time to focus on retirement planning. Plan sponsors can’t add a 25th hour to the day, but they can provide tools to plan participants about how to mind their time, both from an efficiency stand point and from a holistic standpoint.
Not all debt has the same impact on retirement readiness for employees. Debt has impacts on retirement readiness your employees may not realize. Below, we list a few key distinctions employees may not know when making budgeting decisions that could impact their retirement readiness.
Before you jump on the App bandwagon, you might want to consider whether developing an App for your advising business is what’s best not for you, but for your clients. Here are a few things to consider before investing in developing an App for your advising business.
Not all retirees want a life of travel, golf and early dinners. Some retirees continue to work just as passionately in retirement as they did before they left their paying occupations. That passion has its benefits, but also its detractions.
Clients choose advisors based on factors other than costs. Advisors who meet their client’s needs consistently have clients who are less likely to jump ship. Word of mouth may be the best form of advertising, but in the age of the Internet, can you control it?
Many millennials are making mistakes in home buying, yet are reporting higher levels of satisfaction with advisors. How can Advisors understand their blind spots, especially as millennials begin to move into decision-making roles at companies and organizations?
While the cult of busy has taken over workplaces as a way to show your importance or social capital, when it comes to retirement, “too busy” may mean more than trying to look important. It might hide worries in financial planning
The side hustle could be a go to for saving for retirement for workers with stagnant wages. But before employee’s jump on the side hustle train, there are a few drawbacks to that ride that should be considered.
How can financial advisors improve their skills to help make clients more comfortable in discussing financial performance? Many business coaches are encouraging advisors to focus on emotional intelligence.
If clients think that their taxes are increasing due to new changes in the tax laws, they may fear that they have less to contribute to retirement. So what changes impact the amounts available for retirement savings?
Employees may be wanting to access some of their retirement funds, rather than take loans, but may be confused by differing rules between Self Directed IRAs and 401(k)s.
The top reasons most folks give for failing to contribute to retirement savings are lack of time (to manage, analyze, or set up retirement plans) or inability to find a spare amount to set aside for savings. As the slogan goes, there’s an app for that.
Before leaping into the unknown, we recommend a thorough examination of your plan. Because we are experts in the field, we know the marketplace and know what your existing vendor is capable of offering. Through this examination, we can help you optimize the service you receive.get xpress proposal