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Industry-Tax-Marketing News

INFLATION – Inflation in February rose 7.9% from the year before.  This is the highest increase seen since January 1982. The biggest contributors to the gain were gas, food and shelter, all necessities. Expect the Fed to increase interest rates at their March 15-16 meeting, the question is by how much.
FINRA –  FINRA has issued two alerts dealing with sanctions against Russia and is urging broker-dealers to review the various sanctions issued against Russian financial institutions.  In other news, FINRA released FAQ guidance on rules the regulator has adopted related to the financial exploitation of senior investors.

READ THE FINE PRINT – Too many advisors and brokers don’t thoroughly read and understand the terms of the contracts they sign when they join a firm. As a result, we’re seeing more financial services firms sue brokers who leave and attempt to take clients with them.  This article is food for thought!
COMPLIANCE ISSUES – This article is a good summary of the compliance issues that are ‘top of mind’ for the regulators (SEC and FINRA).
INHERITED IRAs –  The IRS has released proposed new regulations regarding IRA beneficiaries subject to the 10-year rule.  In one surprise move, the proposed regs would require those beneficiaries to take annual RMDs within the 10-year distribution period instead of waiting until year 10 to empty the IRA.
MAJOR RETIREMENT LEGISLATION – Lobbyists are predicting that major retirement legislation will pass in 2022…a Secure Act 2.0. 
SOARING – Sales of non-variable whole life policies soared in the fourth quarter 2021, up 16% from the same period in 2020 for non-variable indexed universal life and non-variable indexed whole life policies. Traditional whole life policy sales rose a whopping 45%.
SEEMS EARLY, BUTThe Senior Citizens League has released its estimate for the 2023 Social Security COLA – 7.6%.  One takeaway is that the organization predicts inflation will keep rising, regardless of actions taken by the Federal Reserve.
RETIREMENT – J.P Morgan has released the 2022 version of its well-regarded Guide to Retirement.  As you review it, pay particular attention to the charts it presents…you may be able to use some of them with clients.
SOCIAL SECURITY BENEFIT TAXATION – Many recipients of Social Security benefits are surprised to learn that a portion of those benefits are taxable, up to 85% when other sources of income are earned.  Kiplinger has a handy guide on how to calculate taxes on Social Security benefits.  Kiplinger has also made available a helpful piece on tax strategies for reducing taxes in retirement.

ARE WE READY? – CVS Health announced plans to enter the metaverse by selling virtual goods and non-fungible tokens (NFTs).  The company also announced plans to provide services in a virtual setting, including “health care services provided in virtual reality and augmented reality environments.”  The big question is whether consumers are ready for this.
DOOM LOOP – Medical billing mistakes are difficult for consumers to correct.  Many feel pressured into paying whatever is charged in order to avoid “delinquent” medical bills being placed on their credit reports.  All too often, Americans are caught in this “doom loop” between their medical providers and insurance company, with the credit reporting system used to coerce patients into paying medical bills they may not even owe.

READY? – Generation X is made up of individuals born between 1965 and 1980.  The question is being asked if Gen Xers are ready for retirement?  According to Society of Actuaries research, this generation does not appear to be as well prepared as older generations.  Some of the reasons given include high student loan debt, less access to defined benefit plans and a lack of retirement savings.
REVERSE MORTGAGES – If you’re interested in learning more about how reverse mortgages can fit into retirement planning, this resource is for you.
REBRANDING – Health insurer Anthem is planning to rebrand the company as Elevance Health, a combination of elevate and advance, to better reflect its broad range of health care products.
BY THE NUMBERS – This issue’s “numbered” articles: 3 Messages for Retirement Planners in New DOL Notice 3 Ways to Add Caregiving, Longer Careers to Retirement Plans FINRA’s Top 5 Fine Categories in 2021 Watch These 5 Charts to See When Stocks Hit Bottom Here’s How Much Clients Should Have Saved for Retirement at 5 Different Ages 6 ways you can find new prospects today Roth IRA Conversions in a Down Market: 6 Things to Consider Warren Buffett’s 8 Nuggets of Wisdom for Investors: 2022 9 retirement myths your clients believe 9 Ways Advisors Can Prep Clients for Tax Hikes 9 Most Overpaid CEOs in Financial Services 10 Talking Points for Advisors, Investors Amid Russia-Ukraine War 10 Retirement Woes of Female Investors 10 More Reasons You’re Worth Your Fees
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