Senate Can Support Volunteer First Responders by Passing SECURE Act

I bet you didn’t know the United States is protected by 80% more volunteer firefighters than career firefighters. I bet you also didn’t know that the number of volunteer firefighters has been dropping precipitously. Don’t feel bad – I didn’t know these facts either. But I do know this: there is legislation awaiting U.S. Senate approval that will help attract and retain these and other brave volunteers. That legislation is the Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement (SECURE) Act. The SECURE Act exempts certain volunteer recruitment and retention incentives from being subject to federal income tax. Across the nation … Continue reading “Senate Can Support Volunteer First Responders by Passing SECURE Act”

Make Sure You Still Have the Right Life Insurance Through Regular Reviews

American consumers in the market for a life insurance policy may be surprised by the variety of options available. For those new to life insurance, the specific nuances and attributes for each type of policy can be a bit daunting. An experienced financial professional can help guide customers through the process by assessing their life insurance needs and explaining the pros and cons of each type of life insurance. But no matter what type of coverage is purchased, consumers should regularly review their policies for as long as they are in force. Changes in family, job, and economic situations can affect … Continue reading “Make Sure You Still Have the Right Life Insurance Through Regular Reviews”

SECURE Act Benefits the Many, Not the Few

Low and middle-income Americans struggling to save for retirement are counting on the U.S. Senate to pass the SECURE Act. There’s no time to wait. Millions of Americans would benefit. One provision alone will get 700,000 Americans who work for small businesses to begin saving for retirement. SECURE is essential to help address America’s retirement savings gaps. There is overwhelming, bipartisan support for SECURE. In fact, 417 members of the U.S. House voted for the bill. Only three members voted against SECURE.  That’s less than 1 percent of the legislative body. It should be noted that a few have expressed … Continue reading “SECURE Act Benefits the Many, Not the Few”

Senators Scrutinize Alzheimer’s, Long-Term Care Insurance Provides Solutions

Alzheimer’s disease is the leading cause of long-term care insurance claims. Currently an estimated 5.8 million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s disease. That number is expected to increase to 14 million by 2050. Today, the U.S. Senate Finance Committee Subcommittee on Health Care chaired by Sen. Pat Toomey held a hearing titled “Alzheimer’s Awareness: Barriers to Diagnosis, Treatment and Care Coordination.”  Sen. Toomey has a proposal to help families pay for long-term care insurance. In a statement for the hearing record, American Council of Life Insurers President and CEO Susan Neely and National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors CEO … Continue reading “Senators Scrutinize Alzheimer’s, Long-Term Care Insurance Provides Solutions”

More Seniors are in Debt: An Unintended Consequence of Low Interest Rates

When interest rates are especially low—like today—Americans have a greater incentive to borrow and spend. The reasons are many. Buy a car, a home or a new appliance. Americans also borrow to pursue more education or take a vacation. All this contributes to a growing economy.  From the 1980s until about 2010, interest rates were on a downward trend. Since 2010 they’ve remained historically low. For example, in 1989 the interest rate on 24-month personal loans in the United States averaged 15.4%. 48-month auto loans averaged 12.1%, and the bank prime rate averaged 10.9% (see figure 1).  By 2016 these rates … Continue reading “More Seniors are in Debt: An Unintended Consequence of Low Interest Rates”

Best Interest Standards Comprehensively Protect Consumers

Life insurers strongly support protections serving the best interests of customers, which can be meaningfully safeguarded with disclosure about services and material conflicts of interest. This approach provides an effective means to shield consumers and facilitate informed purchase decisions. The Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) Regulation Best Interest (Reg BI) and Form CRS provide this degree of meaningful consumer protection. The National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) has worked closely with the SEC to develop parallel protections for annuities, which guarantee lifetime income. With this, consumers will have uniform state and federal standards. In addition to the significant protections of … Continue reading “Best Interest Standards Comprehensively Protect Consumers”

House Committee Seeks Care Solutions for Aging Americans

More than 43.5 million family caregivers provide unpaid care annually to adults at any given point in time. Health insurance seldom pays for long-term care services and the government provides only limited coverage through Medicare and Medicaid. Many people are unable to save enough on their own to cover the costs of long-term care. Today, the median cost of a one-year stay in a nursing home is $102,200 for a private room. Home care is less expensive but still costly: a visit by a home health aide can cost $4,385 a month. This growing problem has caught Congress’ attention. The … Continue reading “House Committee Seeks Care Solutions for Aging Americans”