July 2022


Advisor News Insight

Happy 4th of July!


Annuity Planning

SC and MN Have Become the 24th and the 25th States to Adopt an Annuity Sales Standards Update

South Carolina and Minnesota have become the 24th and the 25th states to adopt an annuity sales standards update created by the NAIC. In Minnesota lawmakers had to make the change in their state by passing a bill, SF 4108. The bill passed 66-0 in the state Senate and 129-4 in the state House.

South Carolina: SC Code Regs 69-29 Minnesota: Senate Bill 4108



Estate Planning

Estate Planning for America’s Wealthiest Investors

Spectrem Group

Estate planning is something that many investors avoid at all costs. Discussing what happens after someone passes away is a challenging topic for anyone. Skipping this important step in financial planning can have disastrous consequences for an investor’s estate, including those investors at the highest levels of wealth. Have the wealthiest Americans completed their estate planning? The answer may surprise you.

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Where Not to Die In 2022: The Greediest Death Tax States

Ashlea Ebeling, Senior Contributor at Forbes Media, LLC

In all, 17 states and the District of Columbia levy estate and/or inheritance taxes. Maryland is the outlier that levies both. If you live in one of these states—or might retire to one—pay attention.

State Exemption Top Tax Rate Notes
CT $9.1 million 12% Cap $15 matches federal exemption amount in 2023 and after
DC $4,254,800 16% Indexed for inflation annually
HI $5.49 million 20%  
IL $4 million 16%  
MA $1 million 16%  
MD $5 million 16%  
ME $6.01 million 12% Indexed for inflation annually
MN $3 million 16%  
NY $6.11 million 16% Indexed for inflation annually
OR $1 million 16%  
RI $1,648,611 16% Indexed for inflation annually
VT $5 million 16%  
WA $2,193,000 20%  
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Health Care Planning

Americans Dangerously Out of Touch with Retirement Healthcare Costs

Fidelity Investments

The 2022 Fidelity Retiree Health Care Cost Estimate reveals Americans lowball expected costs by more than a quarter of a million dollars, meaning they will need 7x more than they expect. According to the 21st annual Retiree Health Care Cost Estimate, a 65-year-old couple retiring this year can expect to spend an average of $315,000 in healthcare and medical expenses throughout retirement, according released today by Fidelity Investments.

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Health Care in Retirement Will Cost an Average of $315,000

Noah Zuss, Reporter, PLANSPONSOR, at ISS Governance

Fidelity Investment’s 2022 Retiree Health Care Cost Estimate increased 5% from 2021, and the figure has nearly doubled since the initial $160,000 estimate in 2002. For 2021, Fidelity’s health care cost estimate was $300,000. For 2022, Fidelity estimates that a 65-year-old couple retiring this year can expect to spend an average of $315,000 on health care costs throughout retirement. The estimates for single retirees are $150,000 for men and $165,000 for women. For single retirees, the 2021 estimate was $157,000 for women and $143,000 for men.

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Inflation’s Impact on Health Care Costs in Retirement

Rebecca Moore, Managing Editor, Special Content at Institutional Shareholder Services

An analysis from HealthView Services shows how inflation dramatically increases what future retirees will have to pay for health care. The research report, “The Long-Term Impact of Short-Term Inflation,” shows that even a short period of high inflation will significantly impact retirement health care costs and budgets. Assuming that health care inflation will continue at a historical average of 1.5 to two times the Consumer Price Index over a period of one to two years, before returning to an average normalized inflation rate of around 5.9%, HealthView Services estimates that for an average 65-year-old couple, lifetime retirement health care costs will grow by an additional $85,917, for a total of $673,587.

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IRA Planning

Ready for PTE 2020-02 July 1 Enforcement?

Ed McCarthy, freelance writer of various publications

The July 1 enforcement date for the Department of Labor’s new best-interest rollover documentation requirements has been widely publicized, but that doesn’t mean all advisers are ready.

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Medicare & Medicaid Planning

The 2022 Supplement Security Income (SSI) and Spousal Impoverishment Standards

Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS)

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released a CMCS Informational Bulletin with the updated 2022 Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Spousal Impoverishment Standards.

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Retirement Planning

Ten Key Retirement Statistics & Facts for 2022

By Mira Rakicevic and Medically Reviewed by Nikola Djordjevic, MD

Saving for retirement may be more critical now than ever, considering the challenging times and the economic uncertainty we live in. To that end, here are 30 must-know retirement statistics and facts about retirement you should be familiar with.

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The Missing Middle: How Tax Incentives for Retirement Savings Leave Middle-Class Families Behind

by Tyler Bond, Research Manager and Dan Doonan, Executive Director of the National Institute on Retirement Security

This report from the National Institute on Retirement Security (NIRS) documents how the current tax incentives fail to promote adequate retirement security for the middle class. It considers the impact of factors including marginal tax rates, retirement plan participation, and income distribution on retirement saving levels. Finally, this research discusses potential solutions that could enhance retirement security for the many working families left behind by existing programs.

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Social Security Planning

2022 Annual Report of the Social Security Board of Trustees

Social Security Administration

The Social Security Board of Trustees has released its annual report on the financial status of the Social Security Trust Funds. The combined asset reserves of the Old-Age and Survivors Insurance and Disability Insurance (OASI and DI) Trust Funds are projected to become depleted in 2035, one year later than projected last year, with 80 percent of benefits payable at that time.

The OASI Trust Fund is projected to become depleted in 2034, one year later than last year's estimate, with 77 percent of benefits payable at that time. The DI Trust Fund asset reserves are not projected to become depleted during the 75-year projection period.

Other highlights of the Trustees Report include:

  • Total income, including interest, to the combined OASI and DI Trust Funds amounted to $1.088 trillion in 2021. ($980.6 billion from net payroll tax contributions, $37.6 billion from taxation of benefits, and $70.1 billion in interest)
  • Total expenditures from the combined OASI and DI Trust Funds amounted to nearly $1.145 trillion in 2021.
  • Social Security paid benefits of $1.133 trillion in calendar year 2021. There were about 65 million beneficiaries at the end of the calendar year.
  • The projected actuarial deficit over the 75-year long-range period is 3.42 percent of taxable payroll - lower than the 3.54 percent projected in last year's report.
  • During 2021, an estimated 179 million people had earnings covered by Social Security and paid payroll taxes.
  • The cost of $6.5 billion to administer the Social Security program in 2021 was a very low 0.6 percent of total expenditures.
  • The combined trust fund asset reserves earned interest at an effective annual rate of 2.5 percent in 2021.
Read more Full report Report summary

Social Security’s Financial Outlook: The 2022 Update in Perspective

Alicia H. Munnell, director of the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College and the Peter F. Drucker Professor of Management Sciences at Boston College’s Carroll School of Management

According to Alicia Munnell, of the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College, she writes that the 2022 Trustees Report contains no real news about the overall future of the Social Security program. The Trustees did not change any of the ultimate economic or demographic assumptions, and the 75-year deficit declined only very slightly – 3.42 percent of taxable payrolls in 2022 compared to 3.54 percent in 2021 and that the trust fund depletion date moved back one year –from 2034 to 2035.

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Tax Planning

IRS Tax Tip 2022-95

Tax credits and deductions can help lower the amount of tax owed. All taxpayers should begin planning now to take advantage of the credits and deductions they are eligible for when they file their 2022 federal income tax return next year.

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Practice Management

In First Reg. BI Action, SEC Hits BD Over Sales of Risky Bonds to Retirees

Melanie Waddell, Washington Bureau Chief, Investment Advisory Group

The Securities and Exchange Commission levied its first Regulation Best Interest enforcement action by charging registered broker-dealer Western International Securities Inc. and five of its registered reps with violating Reg BI through L Bond sales. Firms and Reps should view this case as the SEC announcement to the financial services world that it is ready, willing, and able to bring Reg. BI cases.

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The Re-Discovery Meeting: A Communication Strategy For Supporting And Retaining Newly Widowed Clients

Meghaan R. Lurtz, PH.D., FBS Senior Research Associate at

Did you know that 80% of widows leave their advisor within the first two years of becoming a widow? And many reports blame this phenomenon on unsatisfactory advisor communication. As a widow navigates through the difficult transition after losing a spouse, an advisor can be one of the most sustaining relationships in their life. By doing their best to mindfully communicate with recently widowed clients about their changing values and needs in a genuine, honest, and compassionate way, advisors can help them effectively plan for and support their changing needs.

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§7520 Rate for July is: 3.6%

Break down:

Assumed Federal Rates




Be Careful

Source: Federal Trade Commission

46,000 Americans reported being scammed out of an estimated $1 billion from crypto currency cons over the period from January 2021 to March 2022.

Big Jump

Source: U.S. Department of the Treasury

The yield on the 10-year T-note has increased 1.29 percentage points from 12/31/2021 (1.50%) to Friday’s close 5/20/2022 (2.79%). The yield on the 10-year T-note has increased at least 1.29 percentage points over the course of 8 calendar years in the last 50 years, most recently in 2009.

Dollars In, Dollars Out

Source: Medicare

At the end of 2021, Medicare was covering 63.8 million Americans (19% of our population). The program was cash positive in 2021, taking in $888 billion of income (including $5 billion of interest income) while paying out $839 billion in benefits.

Funding a Retirement

Source: BTN Research

The S&P 500 has averaged +9.8% per year (total return) over the 25 years ending 12/31/2021. A lump-sum of $865,656 (in a pre-tax account) will sustain a 20-year payout of $100,000 per year (i.e., $2 million of gross distributions before taxes) assuming the funds continue to earn +9.8% annually. This mathematical calculation ignores the ultimate impact of taxes on the account which are due upon withdrawal, is for illustrative purposes only and is not intended to reflect any specific investment or performance. Actual results will fluctuate with market conditions and will vary.

In the Year 2034

Source: Social Security Trustees 2022 Report

Social Security trustees announced on 6/02/2022 that the trust fund backing the payment of Social Security benefits (OASI retirement benefits) would be zero in 2034. A zero “trust fund” does not mean the payment of Social Security benefits would also go to zero, but rather would drop to 77% of their originally promised levels through the year 2096. When the trustees released their report in 2007 (i.e., 15 years ago), the Social Security Trust Fund was projected to be depleted in 2042.



Long-Term Issue

Source: Social Security Trustees 2022 Report

The estimated Social Security shortfall today (i.e., a present value number) between the future taxes anticipated being collected and the future benefits expected to be paid out over the next 75 years is $20.4 trillion. The entire $20.4 trillion deficit could be eliminated by an immediate 3.24 percentage point increase in the combined Social Security payroll tax rate (from 12.40% to 15.64%) or an immediate 20.3% reduction in benefits that are paid out to current and future beneficiaries.

Stocks and Rate Hikes

Source: BTN Research

Between 6/30/2004 and 6/29/2006, the Fed raised interest rates 17 times. Each rate hike was 0.25 percentage points, a total increase of 4.25 percentage points. That took the Fed’s target short-term rate from 1.00% to 5.25%. From the close of trading on 6/30/2004 to the close of trading on 6/29/2006, the S&P 500 gained +15.7% (total return) over the 2- years, or +7.6% per year.

That’s Inflation

Source: U.S. Department of Labor

Inflation, using the “Consumer Price Index” as the measurement, was up +9.0% in 1978, up +13.3% in 1979, up +12.5% in 1980, and up +8.9% in 1981.

You Snooze, You Lose

Source: Freddie Mac

A buyer of an average-priced existing US home ($266,300) in January 2020 (at the beginning of the global pandemic) who put 10% down would have a $1,078 monthly principal and interest payment on a 3.51% national average 30-year fixed rate mortgage. A buyer of an average priced existing US home ($375,300) in March 2022 who put 10% down would have a $1,746 monthly principal and interest payment on a 4.67% national average 30-year fixed rate mortgage.

Work from Home, Start a Business

Source: U.S. Census Bureau

Americans filed 4.35 million “new business” applications in 2020 and 5.36 million in 2021, surpassing the previous US record high of 3.50 million filed in 2019. Before 2017, “new business” applications in the US had not exceeded 3 million in a single year.




IRS Tax Tips

Check out a listing of tax tips from the IRS.




No Longer Awkward: Communicating with Clients Through the Toughest Times of Life

No Longer Awkward:...

by Amy Florian and Ken Florian

Amy Florian, author of the book No Longer Awkward, a book for financial advisors on communicating with grieving clients, encourages advisors to ask open-ended questions such as, “What kind of day has it been for you today?” or “How do you feel, today?” versus simply asking, “How are you?” These open-ended questions that focus on the present invite the client to share what they are feeling in the present moment, because what the widow may feel on a Monday might be very different from how she feels on a Wednesday.

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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:




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:




Financial / Insurance Calculators & Websites

An extensive list of online calculators and informational websites.





State Updates

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

View Updates




The Advisor’s Guide to IRAs

The Advisor’s Guide to IRAs

According to the Investment Company Institute (ICI), as of the fourth quarter of 2019, IRAs have become the #1 retirement asset with $11.2 trillion of the overall $32.3 trillion in retirement savings (34%). For many Advisors, IRAs have become a major asset in their book of business. It is your fiduciary responsibility to become an IRA expert.

In order to assist you in becoming an IRA expert, this course has been developed to provide you with the most up-to-date information to assist your clients in contributing to an IRA, rolling over funds to an IRA, managing the IRA, and distributing IRA assets, as required by various sections in the Internal Revenue Code.

Complete your CE requirement quickly and easily. This online course allows for convenient access to course material and includes: self-paced courses, unlimited retakes of review questions and final examination, instant grading, course material accessible for up to one year from date of purchase, and excellent customer support.

Prices start at only $19.95.

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Online CE Courses

At B.E.S.T. 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® & IWI®). 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



CFP® & IWI® Ethics CE 2-hour Live Webinar

“Ethics CE: CFP Board’s Revised Code and Standards: Ethics for CFP Professionals”
(CFP® Course#: 277681 | IWI® Course#: 21BEST011)

Earn two (2) credit hours of CFP® and / or IWI® Ethics CE with NO EXAM!

(“Investments & Wealth Institute® has accepted this CFP Board approved Ethics webinar for 2 hours of CE credit towards the IWI® certifications.”)



  • CFP® ONLY license: $49.00
  • IWI® ONLY license: $49.00
  • CFP® w/ IWI® 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



Self-Study CE Course List

As a top-notch continuing education provider we:

  • Deliver CE to financial and insurance advisors
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