August 2021


Advisor News Insight

If you focus on success...



Annuity Planning

Majority of Gen X Investors Interested in Annuities, as 9 Out of 10 Retirement Investors Look for Protected Income

Prepared and distributed by Protected Lifetime Income.

Inaugural Protected Retirement Income and Planning Study reveals important generational differences and increasing consumer demand for protected income.

Read more   Download study

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Charitable Giving

Clients are Upping Charitable Giving in the Wake of the Pandemic

By Mark Schoeff Jr., Senior Reporter at InvestmentNews.

Although the biggest reward of giving is psychological, the tax benefits can make doing good feel even better financially.

Read more

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Estate Planning

The Many Sides of a Gift

Distributed by Andersen Tax LLC.

The tax planning environment was (and still is) incredibly favorable, with interest rates at historic lows and rapidly changing valuations on which to capitalize, creating the perfect storm of wealth transfer activity. But while tax motivations often start the conversation and are certainly one driver of wealth transfer, equal if not more important considerations are understanding and embracing donative intent and the need for succession planning, which can create a more robust, holistic, and ultimately successful wealth transfer process.

Read more

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Health Savings Accounts

IRS Announces 2022 HSA and HRA Limits

The IRS has announced the 2022 calendar year dollar limits for health savings account (“HSA”) contributions, the minimum deductible amounts and maximum out-of-pocket expenses for high deductible health plans (“HDHPs”) and the HRA excepted benefit limit. By law, these limits are indexed annually to adjust for inflation. NOTE: The HDHP out-of-pocket maximum includes in-network deductibles, copayments and coinsurance, but does not include premiums.

For 2022, the HSA contribution limit for a self-only HSA is $3,650 (a $50 increase from calendar year 2021) and $7,300 for a family HSA (a $100 increase from calendar year 2021). To qualify as an HDHP in 2022, a plan must have a minimum annual deductible of at least $1,400 for self-only coverage (no change), and $2,800 for family coverage (no change). The maximum out-of-pocket expenses permitted for an HDHP is $7,050 for self-only coverage (a $50 increase) and $14,100 for family coverage (a $100 increase). The maximum for excepted benefit HRAs (see the Alert of 6/18/19) remains at $1,800.

View Rev. Proc. 2021-25

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IRA Planning

Peter Thiel’s $5 Billion Roth IRA: Tax Pro Jeffrey Levine
Weighs In

By Ginger Szala, Executive Managing Editor of Investment Advisor Magazine.

ProPublica, an investigative news outlet, reported this story in an article, “Lord of the Roths: How Tech Mogul Peter Thiel Turned a Retirement Account for the Middle Class Into a $5 Billion Tax-Free Piggy Bank.” The article sparked debate over Thiel’s use of a Roth IRA as a massive tax shelter — and how other investors and the government might respond.

Read more

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LTC Planning

What Level of Long-Term Services and Support Do Retirees Need?

By Anek Belbase, Anqi Chen, and Alicia H. Munnell. All of the authors are affiliated with the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College. Anek Belbase is a research fellow; Anqi Chen is a research economist and assistant director of savings research; and Alicia H. Munnell is director and the Peter F. Drucker Professor of Management Sciences at Boston College’s Carroll School of Management.

The goal of this three-part series of briefs is to help retirees, their families, and policymakers better understand the likelihood that 65-year-olds — over the course of their retirement — will experience disability that seems manageable, catastrophic, or somewhere in-between. This initial brief begins by describing the risk of needing different levels of support during retirement.

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Retirement Planning

Conversation Conundrum – Despite Lingering Worry, Majority of Americans are Reluctant to Discuss Retirement Concerns

Researched and distributed by Allianz Life Insurance Company of North America.

Allianz Life Study identifies opportunity for financial professionals to help clients – including those already in retirement — address risks.

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Tackling Retirement Risks

Researched and distributed by Merrill, A Bank of America Company.

Few Americans feel very secure about retirement. In 2007, 41% of retirees said they were “very confident” about having enough money to live comfortably throughout their retirement years. By 2020, that figure had fallen to 27%. This discouraging statistic suggests an important question: What can you do to create a more secure retirement? Fortunately, there are avenues you can take to help boost your retirement finances. Doing so involves mitigating key retirement risks.

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What’s in the New SECURE Act 2.0?

By Ted Godbout, Writer/Editor at American Retirement Association.

New retirement bill marked up in the House Ways and Means Committee. On May 5th, 2021, the Securing a Strong Retirement Act of 2021, known as SECURE 2.0, passed unanimously out of the Ways and Means Committee. The new SECURE Act 2.0 of 2021now contains about 45 provisions, including new revenue offsets to pay for the bill.

Read more   House Bill 2954

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Social Security Planning

What Did You Earn At Your First Job? Social Security Can Tell You

By Darlynda Bogle, Assistant Deputy Commissioner at the Social Security Administration.

Ever wonder what you earned the year you worked your first job? Or perhaps any other year you worked? We can tell you. Your earnings history is a record of your progress toward your future Social Security benefits. We keep track of your earnings so we can pay you the benefits you’ve earned over your lifetime. This is why reviewing your Social Security earnings record is so important.

Read more

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Practice Management

Wirehouses Fall Flat on Adviser Satisfaction: J.D. Power

By Nicole Casperson, FinTech reporter for InvestmentNews.

Despite payout rates and branding that suggest higher levels of support, the top brokerage firms are not meeting adviser expectations, according to a recent survey of over 3,000 advisers.

Read more

Why Athletes Are Going Broke

By John Hilton, Senior Editor at InsuranceNewsNet.

Professional athletes encounter a lot of the financial risks and rewards that come with big-money careers. Meet pro athletes who became financial success stories in their post-playing days — as well as a few who didn’t.

Read more

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§7520 Rate for August is: 1.2%

Break down:


Assumed Federal Rates

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Heading out of Town

Source: U.S. Census Bureau

Between 7/01/19 and 6/30/20, 5 of the 10 largest cities in the United States saw their populations decline–New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago, Philadelphia and San Jose.


Source: U.S. Department of the Treasury

The US government projected on Thursday 5/20/21 that an average US taxpayer pays 84% of his/her total federal income tax bill (the underpayment of taxes is largely driven by unreported income), creating an estimated $584 billion annual “tax gap,” i.e., the difference between what all taxpayers should have paid each year compared to what they actually paid.

Joints for Jabs

Source: Washington Liquor and Cannabis Board

Between 6/07/21 and 7/12/21, adults at least age 21in the state of Washington will receive 1 marijuana joint if they receive a COVID-19 vaccination shot.

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Keeping Up with Inflation

Source: Social Security Administration, U.S. Department of Labor

Over the last 25 calendar years, i.e., 1996-2020, “cost of living adjustments” (COLA) for Social Security benefits has increased +68.3%. Over the last 25 calendar years, i.e., 1996-2020, inflation as measured by the “consumer price index” (CPI), has increased +69.7%.

Once In

Source: SECURE Act 2.0

Congress is debating legislation (known as SECURE Act 2.0) that would require any employer with at least 10 employees who sponsors a 401(k) plan to automatically enroll eligible employees at a 3% contribution rate. Employees would retain the right to opt out of the plan.

Really Low

Source: U.S. Department of the Treasury

As of 7/9/21, the yield on the 10-year Treasury note has been below 2% for 462 consecutive trading days, i.e., since 8/01/19, the longest stretch below 2% in US history.

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In Defense of Annuities

by Moshe A. Milevsky, Ph.D.

In this brief monograph the author lays-out the financial economic “case” for using annuities while building wealth prior to retirement, as well as for those spending their nest egg in retirement. He discusses the various annuity categories, argues for why they constitute an important component of a well-balanced portfolio and addresses some of the historical concerns or objections to annuities. The unique narrative and structure of an affidavit offers a dispassionate, scientific and scholarly perspective on what is often perceived as a complex and controversial topic.

Order Book

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2021 Federal Income Tax Guide

Our Tax Guide contains tax information such as:

  • Individual income tax rates
  • Estates and trusts tax rates
  • Roth IRA contribution limits and much more...

Download the Tax Guide below:


2021 Social Security & Medicare Reference Guide

Our Reference Guide contains information such as:

  • Social Security income limits
  • Medicare Parts A-D deductibles and premiums
  • Medicare surtaxes and much more...

Download the Reference Guide below:


Financial / Insurance Calculators & Websites

An extensive list of online calculators and informational websites.


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View updates by state, CE requirements and more by clicking on the link below.

View Updates

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Online CE Courses

At BEST we provide you with a lot of CE credit. Courses are cost-effective, updated annually and nationally approved for state insurance and professional designation credits (CFP, CIMA, CPWA, and RMA). Our CE courses are specifically designed for quick completion and include:

  • Self-paced courses
  • Unlimited retakes of review questions and final examinations
  • Instant grading
  • Course material accessible for up to six (6) months from date of purchase
  • Excellent customer support team
View Our Course Catalog

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Virtual Super CE Events

We provide advisors with:

  • Study material, a 1.5 hour live webinar (review of study material) and a 50-question electronic exam (amount of questions vary by state)
  • Maximum amount of State Insurance CE credit (varies by state)
  • 10 CE credit hours of CFP
  • 5 CE credit hours of CIMA, CPWA and RMA
    • Cost is $74.95 per event plus state insurance filing fees when applicable
      If you are unable to attend the live webinar, you may view a recording of the webinar
      or credit may be transferred to the next available live webinar. (NOTE: A $20.00 cancellation fee will apply for all refunds requested.)
    • Includes certificate for CFP, CIMA, CPWA, RMA, and other professional designations
Register Now

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CFP/CIMA/CPWA/RMA Ethics CE 2-Hour Live Webinar

“Ethics CE: CFP Board’s Revised Code and Standards:
Ethics for CFP Professionals”
(CFP Course#: 277681 | CIMA/CPWA/RMA Course#: 21BEST011)

Earn two (2) credit hours of CFP and/or CIMA, CPWA and RMA Ethics CE with NO EXAM!

(“Investments & Wealth Institute® has accepted this CFP Ethics webinar for 2 hours of CE credit towards the CIMA®, CPWA® and RMA® certifications.”)



  • CFP ONLY license: $49.00
  • CIMA, CPWA AND RMA ONLY license: $49.00
  • CFP WITH CIMA, CPWA AND RMA licenses: $49.00 plus an additional fee of $25.00

NOTE: Attendees MUST participate in all exercises and polling questions during the webinar. Credit received for attendee time logged and participation, NO EXAM at end of webinar. (A $10.00 cancellation fee will apply for all refunds requested.)

Register Today

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Self-Study CE Course List

As a top-notch continuing education provider we:

  • Deliver CE to financial and insurance advisors
  • Offer up‑to‑date and industry pertinent CE courses that maximize credits
  • Provide ClearCert certified long-term care and annuity training CE courses
  • Supply CE courses that are approved in all 50 states and the
    District of Columbia

Order CE courses toll free at: 1-800-345-5669 OR
send an email to

Order Courses

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