Social Security Secrets: What the latest COLA increase means for your clients

12/8/20 3:24 PM / by Alyson Dorosky posted in Advisors, Financial Planning, Social Security


The 2021 cost of living adjustment was recently announced by the SSA as 1.3%. But what does this mean for clients?

COLA has always seemed straightforward to me in terms of benefit calculations. After working at LifeYield for 3+ years, this actually couldn’t be further from the truth.

While studying recently for my Social Security Claiming Strategies certification, I discovered a few caveats regarding COLA and Social Security benefits that I felt could really benefit our clients. Here’s the recap.

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Householding: the strategy shaking up wealth management today

11/6/20 1:54 PM / by Matt Nollman posted in Advisors, Householding, Asset Location


It’s been called many things over the years. Unified managed household. Aggregated accounts. Complete household view… just to name a few.

All of these terms are similar. When they first started being used, they all meant essentially the same thing. But a household view (or whatever you want to call it) is not enough anymore. Advisors need to manage and coordinate assets at the household-level – across accounts –optimizing for risk and tax – and maximizing after-tax returns.

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Social Security Secrets: Breaking Down Survivor Benefits

10/15/20 3:26 PM / by Alyson Dorosky posted in Advisors, Financial Planning, Social Security


Survivor Benefits have always seemed pretty straight forward.

Calculating the amount that the surviving spouse will receive from the SSA (Social Security Administration) is easy, right?

Typically, the widow/widower is entitled to 100% of what their deceased spouse – including any DRCs (Delayed Retirement Credits) – was receiving at the time of their death.

Well, that’s what I thought...

Recently, I was working with an advisor on a unique Social Security scenario. I discovered that this is not always the case.

After three years of leading support for LifeYield Social Security Advantage, I've ran thousands of different scenarios through the software. But this one was different. It required a lot of extra research and a detailed understanding of the rules to confirm the findings. But confirm, it did.

Here’s what happened.

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The New Trend Shaking up Advisor Tech Platforms

9/22/20 1:52 PM / by Jeff Quigley posted in Advisors, Financial Planning


For decades, our industry has been configured to promote transactional business and product sales. And has not focused deeply on processes such as client experience, financial planning, or tax optimization... Until now.

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The Silver Bullet for Delivering Quality Advisor Tech Platforms

9/17/20 5:12 PM / by Steve Zuschin posted in Advisors, Financial Planning


We’ve all heard this story before.

Your firm’s top advisor suddenly leaves and takes their $200M book with them.

  • Why did they leave?
  • Could we have done something to get them to stay?
  • How do we prevent this from happening in the future?

The secret: It starts with the advisor tech platform.

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AdviceTech.LIVE: Summarizing of the Future of FinTech

9/2/20 11:05 AM / by Matt Nollman posted in Advisors, Financial Planning, Event


Digital events are tough to get right.
AdviceTech.LIVE was right.

Digital events are meant to bridge the gap until in-person events make a comeback. But most COVID era events have been in test mode. AdviceTech.LIVE met the challenge and has been the best FinTech digital event of the year, if not ever.

Why? Two things.

The experience and the cause.

Experience wins. Not only was the speaker line-up top-notch – and featured 20+ CEOs and senior executives at the companies developing the future of FinTech – but the format was highly engaging. All the speakers were 100% live. And it made a difference.

The cause: Half the revenue from the event went to support the Center for Financial Planning Diversity & Inclusion. Every person and company that participated is proud to contribute to an event that lives this mission. Diversity is the key to developing our industry. And we all know it.

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Why advisors should adopt an asset location strategy

8/19/20 2:29 PM / by Steve Zuschin posted in Advisors, Financial Planning, Asset Location


We live in a “more” culture. Money. Happiness. Health. We’re programmed to always want more.

That’s what asset location provides. More.

Higher after-tax returns for clients. More revenue for the advisor and the firm. It’s a win-win.

Adopting an asset location strategy and adding the ability to quantify those benefits for clients adds tremendous value to an advisory practice. Not only will you generate more revenue per client, but your clients will have a clear understanding of the value you bring to the table. Value that goes far beyond the performance of investments.

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Filing for Social Security while SSA offices remain closed

8/5/20 1:44 PM / by Alyson Dorosky posted in Advisors, Financial Planning, Social Security


While the pandemic continues to surge on around the country, Social Security Administration offices remain closed with no hint of reopening anytime soon. This new norm has created an entirely new Social Security filing process for near retirees and retirees. As a financial advisor, it is more prudent now than ever before to become a Social Security expert to help aid your clients through this new process remotely. 


As of two weeks ago, the SSA has remained quiet in regards to their office reopening plans after four months of implementing their remote filing continuity plan. Preparing clients to file for Social Security benefits can be daunting normally but now there are even more concerns regarding filing strategies and timing than in the past.

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My journey with a Financial Advisor: A Millennial Investing Story

7/22/20 10:41 AM / by Matt Nollman posted in Advisors, Financial Planning


I’m 29 and I have a financial advisor.

I know, it’s early. But some circumstances led me to connect with the family advisor and our relationship began.

After working in financial services for the last 3+ years, I’ve heard a lot about the importance of retaining the next generation of clients. That’s what’s happening here.

So, I wrote about it.

This rest of this post will give you an overview of the process I went through for onboarding through transitioning into a full client. I’ll talk about what I liked and didn’t like. I’ll talk about what my advisor could have said to make me feel more comfortable about certain things. And if there was a missed opportunity or a piece of software that I wish they had, I’ll address that too.

Here’s how it went down:

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The Fundamentals of Engaging Remote Client Meetings

7/7/20 12:27 PM / by Steve Zuschin posted in Advisors, Financial Planning


Change is never easy. But that’s exactly what the financial advice industry is facing today. It’s going to be particularly difficult for an industry that is normally slower to evolve, but we can do it. The tools exist. It’s just a matter of finding the right ones for you.

The rest of this post expands on the four most important components of leading an engaging remote client meeting.

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