Report: Fixed-indexed annuity sales on track to top VA sales | BlackRock, Microsoft to offer guaranteed-income products on platform | N.Y. law offers cost savings for annuity, life insurance issuers
December 14, 2018
IRI Retirement Income SmartBrief
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Report: Fixed-indexed annuity sales on track to top VA sales
Fixed-indexed annuities, which are seen as offering owners advantages in most market environments, are likely to exceed the sale of variable annuities by the end of 2021, according to a report from Cerulli Associates. By 2023, fixed-indexed annuities are estimated to account for 40% of all annuity production, the report says.
ThinkAdvisor (free registration) (12/13) 
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Retirement Income Roundup
BlackRock, Microsoft to offer guaranteed-income products on platform
BlackRock intends to offer guaranteed-income products on the new retirement platform it is developing with Microsoft. The funds BlackRock is looking to roll out will increase the company's concentration in annuities, and the firm also wants to create products similar to annuities, a source said.
The Wall Street Journal (tiered subscription model) (12/13),  ThinkAdvisor (free registration) (12/13) 
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N.Y. law offers cost savings for annuity, life insurance issuers
A measure signed into law by New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo allows life insurance and annuity companies to shift to principles-based reserving. The law may allow some insurers to reduce their reserves, making more money available to boost profit margins or cut prices.
ThinkAdvisor (free registration) (12/13) 
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Financial planner: FIAs offer a 5%-plus return while limiting risk
Fixed-indexed annuities are one practical option for investors looking for a return of 5% or greater, and they come without the risk of loss of principal, writes financial planner Jeff Rose. He notes FIAs may be right "for individuals who have some time before they need to retire and want to diversify some of their holdings away from the stock market."
Forbes (12/13) 
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More baby boomers are aging in isolation
More baby boomers are aging in isolation
One in 11 US adults age 50 and older lacks a partner, spouse or living child, one in six baby boomers lives alone, and 8.3% report frequent loneliness. One study estimated that social isolation among older adults costs Medicare $6.7 billion each year, and former Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Administrator Donald Berwick says loneliness must be addressed "if we want to achieve health for our population, especially vulnerable people."
The Wall Street Journal (tiered subscription model) (12/11) 
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Washington Update
Economists: Odds of US recession have increased to 40%
The chances of the US entering a recession in the next two years have climbed to 40% from 35% in the past month, according to economists surveyed by Reuters. The last time economists suggested a probability that high was January 2008, eight months before Lehman Brothers collapsed and the subsequent Great Recession.
Reuters (12/14) 
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Congress doing nothing to avert US government shutdown
Congress took a break for the holidays without a plan for heading off a partial shutdown of the US government next week. Talks on keeping the government running haven't progressed since President Donald Trump said he is willing to take the blame for a shutdown if he doesn't get funding to build a wall along the border with Mexico.
Politico (12/13) 
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Economists lower forecasts of 2019 interest-rate rises
A poll of 60 economists shows an almost unanimous expectation that the Federal Reserve will announce an interest-rate increase this month. But a significant number of respondents expect only two further increases in 2019, instead of the three that were widely predicted in a similar survey in November.
The Wall Street Journal (tiered subscription model) (12/13) 
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Your Practice
Help wealthy clients complete this year-end tax-planning checklist
Attorney John McManus offers 10 tax-planning tasks to remind wealthy clients to do before the end of the year. "Many tax opportunities have an annual expiration date of Dec. 31, and this year presents unique possibilities," he writes.
WealthManagement (12/7) 
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Preparing for a surprise SEC audit
Sherry Delaney of New Market Wealth Management thought it was a prank when she got a call from the Securities and Exchange Commission telling her the firm had two weeks to prepare for an audit. She discusses how the firm came together to meet the deadline and what she learned from the experience.
Financial Planning online (12/12) 
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IRI Updates
New retiree research from IRI
An IRI original research report, "Retirement, Income and Risk," found that only about one in six retirees relies on Social Security for more than half of retirement income, and two-thirds rely on an employer pension for at least 25% of their income. Due in large part to the security provided by pensions, most retirees with personal retirement savings are only tapping those accounts due to the legal requirement to take annual required minimum distributions (RMDs). Most workplace retirement plans today are based on defined contribution, such as 401(k) plans, as opposed to a pension with guaranteed lifetime income payments. Future retirees will be much more dependent on retirement savings for income and must plan accordingly.
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Fall 2018 IRI Insight now available
An aging bull market, generational differences in retirement saving and planning, preventing fraud and protecting against the financial impact of long-term care costs. Check out the Fall 2018 issue of IRI Insight for important and thought-provoking analysis of these critical retirement issues. Also in this issue of IRI Insight: "Help Turn the Page on Unnecessary Retirement Risk," "Talking 'Bout the Generations," and "The Importance of Long-term Care Planning."
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