Stock sell-off presents one of many opportunities for comprehensive advisors

Posted by Emily Kubis on Wed, Feb 21, 2018 @ 08:02

Three services comprehensive financial advisors provide

The recent stock sell-off has drawn big headlines, which has led many Americans to express concern over their investments.

This uncertainty presents an opportunity for comprehensive financial advisors to offer another layer of customer service, leading to better client retention and a competitive advantage.

Smart financial advisors have taken the—often alarming—headlines as an opportunity to touch base with clients and offer some reassurance and personalized advice.

As advisors are increasingly competing on more than just asset management, these services allow advisors to position themselves as more comprehensive than the competition.

Here are two other ways advisors can offer an increased level of personalized service.

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Tags: Bernard Health, retirement, financial planner, financial advisors, healthcare extension, medicare costs

Financial advisors—how to help your clients with annual Medicare reviews

Posted by Emily Kubis on Fri, Feb 02, 2018 @ 06:02

Medicare strategies should be evaluated annually

Healthcare costs are a big concern for Americans at all income levels. This is an issue financial advisors are well-positioned to address, which is why planners and wealth managers are increasingly integrating healthcare and health insurance advising into their practices, either in-house or through partnerships with noncommissioned advisors like Bernard Health.

Medicare presents particular challenges for financial advisors and their clients. We estimate there are 18 Medicare strategies, and the overwhelming number of options typically means most consumers don’t have the most cost-effective strategy.

Medicare is a reoccurring and long-term expense for your clients, so finding the right combination of plans and products is key. Further, Medicare policies change yearly, so reevaluating the strategy annually is also important.

Here are four reasons your clients should reevaluate their Medicare strategies yearly, and how financial advisors are positioned to help.

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Tags: Bernard Health, retirement, financial planner, financial advisors, healthcare extension, medicare costs

Financial advisors, will Medicare changes affect your high-income clients?

Posted by Emily Kubis on Wed, Jan 17, 2018 @ 08:01

What advisors need to know

Changes to Medicare thresholds for higher Part B and Part D premiums will affect higher income recipients this year.

Medicare beneficiaries with higher incomes pay higher premiums for Parts B and D, called income-related monthly adjustment amounts, or IRMAA. Beginning this year and applying to tax year 2016, the thresholds for the surcharges have changed.

The surcharges apply to individuals with modified adjusted gross incomes above $85,000 and couples above $170,000.

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Tags: Bernard Health, retirement, financial planner, financial advisors, healthcare extension, medicare costs

Financial advisors: Your clients have anxiety around healthcare costs in retirement

Posted by John Whaling on Fri, Dec 29, 2017 @ 12:12

How expensive can healthcare really be in retirement?

How expensive can healthcare really be in retirement? These sentiments are reflected in other surveys as well. According to a 2014 Merrill Lynch study, Health and Retirement: Planning for the Great Unknown, 41 percent of Americans pinpoint future healthcare costs as their greatest financial concern.

Surprisingly, that number jumps to 54 percent and 60 percent for pre-retirees with over $250K and $5 million, respectively. Despite these worries, only 15 percent of pre-retirees have planned for these expenses.

Why are these pre-retirees so worried? How expensive can healthcare really be in retirement? Many studies attempt to estimate how much retirees can expect to spend, and they estimate healthcare could cost between $200K and $700K per couple. No matter how you cut it, healthcare is material to the financial well-being of most Americans.

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Tags: Medicare, Bernard Health, retirement, financial planner, financial advisors, healthcare extension, medicare costs

Planning for retirement? Don’t forget healthcare

Posted by Emily Kubis on Wed, Sep 27, 2017 @ 10:09

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Healthcare planning services needed as costs continue to rise

How much will healthcare cost you and your spouse in retirement? According to the most recent estimate from Fidelity Benefits Consulting, a 65-year-old couple retiring this year will spend $275,000 on healthcare, not including long-term care expenses.

This is up by $15,000 from 2016, and as healthcare costs continue to rise, this number is likely to increase substantially every year.

The number one piece of advice for consumers is to factor healthcare into retirement planning. Fidelity offers a few tips for thinking ahead to healthcare in retirement.

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Tags: Bernard Health, retirement, financial planner, financial advisors, healthcare extension, medicare costs

Financial planners—here’s how to help clients with healthcare

Posted by Emily Kubis on Mon, Sep 18, 2017 @ 07:09

Healthcare planning services needed as costs continue to rise

Financial advisors—are you prepared to help your clients plan for their healthcare needs in retirement? According to Fidelity Benefits Consulting, a 65-year-old couple retiring this year will spend $275,000 on healthcare in retirement, representing opportunity for financial advisors and wealth managers.

Healthcare must be integrated into comprehensive wealth management, but this can present a challenge to financial advisors and their clients. There are few consumer resources available to provide help and advice on Medicare, long-term care, medical bills, and other areas of healthcare spending concern.

This is why some financial advisors are building healthcare advisory services into their practices. This allows them to better serve existing clients nearing retirement age or with significant healthcare needs, and also serves as a marketing tool for prospects.

If you are thinking about building healthcare services into your financial advisory firm, you have a few options. One is to hire a healthcare advisor to work within your practice. Another is to develop relationships with local insurance brokers to whom you can refer clients, similarly to any attorney referrals you may make. One important note here, however, is to make sure any potential referral partners have individual advising services. Many insurance brokers work exclusively with group plans.

Other options include partnering with a third-party healthcare advising service, or building healthcare advising into your own suite of services. Regardless of which option you pursue, here are a few things you should think about.

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Tags: Bernard Health, retirement, financial planner, financial advisors, healthcare extension, medicare costs

Financial advisors: How much will healthcare cost your clients in retirement?

Posted by Emily Kubis on Mon, Aug 07, 2017 @ 07:08

Healthcare planning services needed as costs continue to rise

According to Fidelity Investment, a 65-year-old couple retiring this year will need an estimated $260,000 to cover healthcare costs in retirement.

That’s a 6 percent increase, and the highest estimate since the firm began calculating these costs in 2002. The company attributed the rise to increased utilization and rising drug prices.

To insure against the need for long-term care, Fidelity estimates a couple in good health would need an additional $130,000.

Where do all these costs come from? The spending associated with Medicare Part B premiums, Medicare Part D, Medigap policies and out-of-pocket expenses—including prescriptions—really adds up.

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Tags: Bernard Health, retirement, financial planner, financial advisors, healthcare extension, medicare costs

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