January 2022


Advisor News Insight

Happy New Year!



Thank you for your business in 2021. It has been a pleasure helping you reach your goals, and we look forward to working with you again in the new year. We at BEST wish all of you and your families a safe, prosperous and wonderful 2022!



IRA Planning

Exceptions to the Pro-Rata Rule – Ways to
“Isolate Bases”

Andy Ives, CFP®, AIF® IRA Analyst

There are exceptions to the pro-rata rule and ways to clean up an IRA that contains a mix of pre-tax and after-tax dollars (basis). Included here are three exceptions to pro-rata and how IRA owners could potentially “isolate basis” – reduce an IRA to only after-tax dollars, thereby setting the stage for a tax-fee Roth conversion.

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Medicare & Medicaid Planning

Some Social Security checks to decline in 2022 due

Mary Beth Franklin, Contributing Editor at Investment News

Although all Social Security beneficiaries will receive a whopping 5.9% cost-of-living adjustment in 2022, the biggest COLA in 40 years, Medicare premiums will offset much of the increase. And for higher-income retirees who are subject to income-related monthly adjustment amounts, or IRMAAs, the combination of higher Medicare premiums and higher IRMAA surcharges will more than wipe out the COLA, resulting in a net decline in Social Security benefits next year.

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Retirement Planning

2022 U.S. Retirement Market Outlook:
Three Themes Shaping the Retirement Landscape

T. Rowe Price

The widening retirement savings gap, improving financial wellness and adjusting to lower return expectations are three themes shaping the U.S. retirement landscape going into 2022. A new study shows the events of the past two years have either accelerated these themes or shined a spotlight on them, and the response of individual savers, employers and those that advise them is evolving as well.

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Guide Clients on Retiring in Uncertain Markets

May 6, 2021 | Vanguard Perspective

Clients don’t always have the luxury of choosing to retire as financial markets are rising. Yet, the timing of clients’ transition out of the working world can have a tremendous impact on their retirement savings longevity. As Vanguard research has shown, sequence-of-return risk—the threat to a successful retirement posed by a concentrated run of poor market performance—can be substantial, especially if it happens early in retirement. This risk can mean lower-than-hoped-for retirement income, early exhaustion of retirement savings principal, or both.

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Tax-Efficient Retirement Distributions with
Inheritance in Mind

Wade Pfau Ph.D., CFA, RICP Founder of Retirement Researcher

Author’s note: William Reichenstein recently wrote a piece for Advisor Perspectives that objects to my use of the term “tax-bracket management” when I am including non-linearities in the tax code that cause marginal tax rates to different from the federal tax brackets for ordinary income. If this is confusing, replace “adjusted gross income management” with “tax-bracket management” in your mind as you read the following. The ideas that Reichenstein described in his column are already fully embedded into this analysis.

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The Importance of Marginal Tax Rates in Retirement Planning (Podcast)

Dr. William Reichenstein, CFA Principal – Research

About This Episode: We published an article in late September, Pay Attention to Marginal Tax Rates and Not Tax Brackets, that highlighted how the analytic framework for providing retirement income planning advice can be improved. It focused on three decisions that investors sometimes need to make: (1) whether to convert funds this year from a tax-deferred account (TDA), like a 401(k), to a Roth account; (2) whether to contribute this year to a TDA or a Roth account; and (3) how to tax-efficiently withdraw funds in retirement, where withdraw is interpreted broadly to include Roth conversions. The author of that article is with me today to discuss how advisors should approach those decisions.

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Social Security Planning

Six Steps for Effective Social Security Claiming

Wade Pfau Ph.D., CFA, RICP Founder of Retirement Researcher

Clients struggle with making right the Social Security claiming decision. This article provides a six-step process to guide clients through the complexity of Social Security.

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Tax Planning

Senate Finance Committee Releases Tax Provisions of Build Back Better Act

Paul Bonner, Senior Editor at The Tax Adviser

The Senate Finance Committee released its portion of the Build Back Better Act on Saturday containing tax provisions and other updated legislative text.

In an announcement, committee Chair Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., said the committee had made “targeted improvements” in the 1,180-page portion of the act, which was passed in its entirety by the House on Nov. 19 (H.R. 5376; see prior coverage of its tax and other provisions).

Read more   View Amendments

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Practice Management

10 Worst Financial Advisors in America: 2021

Jeff Berman, Staff Reporter at ThinkAdvisor

This past year offered an extensive list of advisors and brokers who qualify for the dubious distinction of being one of the worst financial advisors of the year. As usual, we have seen a fair share of advisors conducting Ponzi schemes, stealing from older adults and other clients, forging clients’ signatures, and creating elaborate investment scams in 2021.

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§7520 Rate for January is: 1.6%

Break down:

Assumed Federal Rates

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Jobless Benefits

Source: U.S. Department of the Treasury

24% of the outlays of the government, i.e., $1.649 trillion out of $6.818 trillion, during fiscal year 2021 were payments for “income security,” i.e., 6 different programs that keep Americans “healthy and safe,” but mostly unemployment benefits. 12% of the outlays of the government, i.e., $515 billion out of $4.447 trillion during fiscal year 2019 (pre-pandemic) were payments for “income security.”

Major Ports

Source: Financial Times

40% of the cargo imported into the United States via ships come into the 2 California ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach.

One Opinion

Source: Jeremy Siegel

Jeremy Siegel, Professor of Finance at Wharton, predicted on 11/24/21 a target value of 5000 for the S&P 500 during 2022. The S&P 500 closed on Friday 12/10/21 at 4712.

One Year

Source: The American Presidency Project

The midterm elections will be held on 11/08/2022. All 435 House seats and 34 of 100 Senate seats will be contested. The President’s party has lost House seats in 18 of the last 20 midterms, while the President’s party has lost Senate seats in 14 of the last 20 midterms.

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Source: Tax Policy Center

HR #5376, aka “The Build Back Better Act,” is estimated to raise taxes on the top 1% of US taxpayers and lower taxes on the other 99% of taxpayers. The top 1% of taxpayers, approximately 1.4 million tax returns, would see an average annual federal tax increase of $54,360.

The Highest Rate to Pay

Source: Internal Revenue Service (IRS)

The highest individual marginal tax rate in 2022 (37% under current law) comes into play for single taxpayers at $539,000 of taxable income and at $647,850 of taxable income for married filing jointly taxpayers.

What Has Changed?

Source: Attom Data Solutions

20,331 homes have been repossessed by lenders nationwide YTD through 10/31/21. That’s down from 50,238 homes repossessed for all of 2020, 143,955 homes in 2019, 230,305 homes in 2018 and 291,579 homes in 2017.


Source: Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

2 of every 3 caregivers (67%) in the United States are women, caring for children, aging parents or other individuals with illnesses or disabilities.

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2022 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:


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2022 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:


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Financial/Insurance Calculators & Websites

An extensive list of online calculators and informational websites.


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State Updates

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

View Updates

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Guide to Retirement Planning Strategies

Guide to Retirement Planning Strategies

Order course

This course has been developed to give the advisor (licensed agent) a complete guide in the retirement planning strategy process. The course will focus on the five step retirement planning process and examine the various risk factors needed to be considered when developing a retirement plan for your client. It will examine the various sources of retirement income based on the three-legged stool (Social Security, Employer Sponsored Retirement Plans, Savings and IRAs) and introduce a fourth leg to the stool consisting of insurance products and working in retirement. Also addressed is the complex topic of retirement plan distributions and the many rules and regulations that surround this issue. Finally, the course addresses the subject of health care and long-term care planning in retirement with a discussion of Health Savings Accounts, Medicare, and LTC Planning with the use of LTCI and Hybrid LTCI policies, as well as the use of reverse mortgages.

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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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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 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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