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March 11, 2013
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Financial and wealth management news for the retirement community

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  Industry Update 
  • The impact of annuity payments on estate taxes
    No property interest is included in the estate of a deceased straight-life annuity holder, according to this article. The estate-tax impact of annuities with survivor benefits, however, vary based on whether that benefit is paid to the estate or a beneficiary, the article says. Another factor is whether the deceased annuity holder paid all or part of the purchase price. National Underwriter Life & Health (3/8) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Expert: Private-equity firms look to annuity business to diversify
    Private-equity firms have been buying and reinsuring annuity lines for a chance to exercise their investment and asset-management capabilities, says Scott Robinson of Moody's Investors Service. Fixed and fixed-indexed annuities were the main target of alternative-investment managers in 2012, but the trend this year may be variable annuities, Robinson said. "[Private equity] firms are looking for something that is going to meet their returns, and they have fairly high return hurdles. They are looking for businesses that are going to provide some diversification to their other investments," he said. National Underwriter Life & Health (3/8) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Financial Literacy 
  • Commentary: Simple steps can help make the most of 401(k)s
    Investors can make several quick changes to improve the health of a 401(k), writes Stuart Robertson of ShareBuilder Advisors. Among Robertson's tips: Increase the percentage you're contributing when you get a raise, use a formula for allocations of fixed-income-based funds and stock funds to rebalance your portfolio as you age, and shop for lower-priced index funds. Forbes (3/6) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  On the Economy 
  • U.S. jobless rate falls to 7.7%, but doubts remain
    The U.S. unemployment rate reported Friday surprised economists, dropping to 7.7% for February from 7.9% in January. However, labor force participation remained unchanged at 58.6%, just 0.4 percentage points above the post-recession low and well below the 20-year average of about 66%. "This shows the depth of the recent employment recession -- worse than any other post-war recession -- and the relatively slow recovery due to the lingering effects of the housing bust and financial crisis," wrote Bill McBride of Calculated Risk. Forbes (3/8) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Building Your Practice 
  • What to do when a financial plan goes awry
    Long-term financial plans have faced challenges from bear markets, prolonged bouts of high unemployment, family members' financial distress and unforeseen health issues, according to this article. Advisers need to guide clients in readjusting their plans and reducing spending, experts say. Financial Advisor online (3/6) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Financial Products 
  • Scaled-down annuities aim to offer benefits at lower cost
    A few companies have begun to offer lower-cost alternatives to annuities with living benefits, giving investors the chance to pay less if they are willing to accept some tweaks in benefits. Instead of the typical annual fees worth about 3.5% of assets, the new products carry fees of 1.45% to 2.79%, Anne Tergesen writes. The Wall Street Journal (3/10) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  SmartQuote 
Let me listen to me and not to them."
--Gertrude Stein,
American writer and feminist


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