When do you advise clients to start thinking about death planning? Have you broached this subject with your own loved ones? Not easy questions to process, are they?

As with many things, understanding the appropriate time to have these discussions with clients is both personal and widely varied depending on client preferences and generational differences. A recent Bloomberg article got me thinking about this topic specifically as it highlighted that many millennials aren’t currently purchasing life insurance, nor do they consider it a priority. Of course, this is partially due to younger generations marrying and starting families later in life; however, it also serves as a reminder of the role social media plays in helping financial professionals educate and advise certain consumer segments, particularly those who that may not be actively looking to make a purchase.

A new viewpoint for a new generation

What if firms viewed social media not as a chance to sell to younger prospects, but instead an opportunity to educate and build a relationship with them? (read more…)

Gina McCarthy, the administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, discussed Sec. 111(d) of the Clean Air Act, which deals with carbon emission reductions, at a webinar hosted by the American Sustainable Business Council on Sept. 4.

McCarthy said the rules proposed in the EPA’s Clean Power Plan are part of President Barack Obama’s climate action plan. “Climate change is a risk to health, business and economic growth,” she said, adding that small business owners overwhelming want action taken on the issue. And she’s proud of what the EPA is doing by developing standards to control air pollution, much of which comes from plants that generate power by coal, natural gas and petroleum.

McCarthy explained that the rule-making process took into account views from industry, unions, state officials and others. The EPA’s goal, in addition to cutting carbon emission was to make sure that the rules “can change climate economic risks into opportunities,” she said. (read more…)

Advisers need to proactively review clients’ annuities that are within individual retirement accounts to avoid “traps” by ensuring required minimum distributions are being taken properly, said Jeffrey Levine of Ed Slott and Co.

IRA or Roth rules trump annuity rules when an annuity is within an IRA, Levine explained Monday at the National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors’ Career Conference and Annual Meeting in San Diego.

Roth conversions and required minimum distributions, or RMDs, are based on an annuity’s fair market value, which is a complex, “don’t-try-this-at-home” calculation, but an adviser can ask the provider to perform it, Levine said. (read more…)

The new Life Underwriter Training Council Fellow program will feature a sharply focused, timely curriculum to meet agents’ needs, according to the College for Financial Planning and the National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors, which teamed up to develop the revised designation.

The updated version of the program came about as the result of “an outcry from designees” to keep LUTCF going after a change in the institution that administers the program, said NAIFA President Juli McNeely.

The new program is “going to be very complete, very robust. It really is designed to give a brand-new adviser what they need to be successful,” said McNeely, who holds the LUTCF designation.

The development of the new program involved a team of subject matter experts, known as the LUTCF Advisory Committee, as well as a content-validation survey to determine how the curriculum could be as relevant as possible.

The survey included all LUTCF designees in NAIFA’s database and focused on the questions of “who’s the target audience, and what do they need to their job, and how do we fill that need?” said Jason Brunner, director of institutional research and effectiveness at the College for Financial Planning. (read more…)