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January 31, 2013
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Financial and wealth management news for the retirement community

  Top News 
  • Avoid the trap of averages in retirement budgeting
    Relying on age-based spending averages in the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Consumer Expenditure Survey can lead future retirees astray, Steve Vernon writes. An individual's retirement budget should factor in debt, health, travel plans and other specifics. In addition, while the survey shows that people generally spend less money as they age, this could be because they have less to spend later in retirement, when health care costs typically rise. "I wouldn't count too much on reduced spending in your later years to justify spending more today," he writes. CBS MoneyWatch (1/30) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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  Industry Update 
  • Advisers suggest Social Security fixes
    Some Americans might chose to forgo Social Security and sign up only for Medicare if the two programs were not linked, financial adviser Diahann Lassus says. Ideas from other advisers about maintaining Social Security's financial footing include offering a tax credit to people who decline Social Security benefits, and attempting to persuade Americans that the benefits should go to the neediest, not everyone. MarketWatch (1/30) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Survey finds interest in LTCI, but knowledge is lacking
    About half of Americans say they're interested in purchasing long-term-care insurance, and 5% say they already have such coverage, a survey by found. More than half, however, said they have little to no knowledge of long-term-care insurance, and about 56% had misconceptions about the cost of coverage, the survey found. National Underwriter Life & Health (1/30) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • CEO suggests stripping benefit riders from variable annuities
    Variable-annuity carriers might want to return to the product's original purpose as a tax-deferred retirement-savings vehicle, says Mitchell Caplan, CEO of Jefferson National. His company sells variable annuities without lifetime income riders, which Caplan says have been mispriced and have negatively affected carriers' balance sheets in the low-interest-rate environment. National Underwriter Life & Health (1/30) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Financial Literacy 
  • Games use "financial entertainment" to promote financial literacy
    The Doorway to Dreams Fund, a nonprofit that offers computer games that teach money-management skills, is partnering with employers such as Staples and the U.S. military to increase low- and moderate-income workers' knowledge about finances. Peter Tufano, chairman of the fund, calls the games "financial entertainment" and says they are the future of financial-literacy efforts. (1/28) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  On the Economy 
  • U.S. economy took surprising downturn in Q4
    The U.S. economy shrank at an annual rate of 0.1% in the fourth quarter, a result that surprised economists who had predicted 1% growth but reflected the effects of Hurricane Sandy and a government and private-sector spending pullback in anticipation of the "fiscal cliff." It marked the first decline in GDP since the end of the recession that launched the ongoing economic malaise. Analysts believe, however, that the economy remains resilient, with fundamentals still basically sound. The Wall Street Journal (1/30), Bloomberg (1/30) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story

  Building Your Practice 
  • Advice about fitting clients with annuities
    Three "silver bullets" can help financial advisers educate clients about indexed annuities and prevent disappointments later, writes Joshua Anderson of Aaron Matthews Financial Resources. A company's rating is one of several characteristics to consider when purchasing an annuity, requiring advisers to educate clients "beyond the brochure," Anderson writes. He also recommends clearly explaining a product's terms, presenting all investment options and pinpointing what the client is trying to accomplish in order to determine whether an indexed annuity is appropriate. National Underwriter Life & Health (1/29) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Other News
All happiness depends on a leisurely breakfast."
--John Gunther,
American author and journalist

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