SEC “Best Interest” Proposal

Advisors are less aware of the Securities and Exchange Commission’s best-interest proposals now than they were of the Labor Department’s fiduciary rule proposal in 2016.

So says Fidelity research, which also finds that not only do 40% of advisors aware of the proposals not plan on acting until there is further clarification, some 78% of advisors say they’ll need at least some help assessing and evaluating the proposals.

Opinion is pretty evenly divided on whether the proposals will have a positive or negative impact, with a third of advisors on either side and the remaining third in the middle on the matter. And while 62% of advisors expect that a new SEC rule for standards of conduct will be put in place, their efforts to prepare for the now-defunct Labor rule have put them at an advantage.

In fact, advisors are likely to leverage a number of the steps they already took to work toward compliance with the Labor rule, and they expect to be able to use several of them to better prepare for future SEC regs.

The top five solutions likely to prove useful in complying with the SEC’s standards, Fidelity found, included tools and technology to ensure the firm’s compliance and control. Investment products based on the standard of care will also make it easier to stay within the straight and narrow, as will custom forms or disclosures to demonstrate the firm’s, and advisors’, standard of care of the client.

Tools and technology that can ensure the firm’s pursuit of the client’s best interest and account identifiers that indicate the standard of care for investor accounts will also make it easier to comply with new SEC requirements.

Fidelity points out that there’s still quite a bit of ambiguity in the SEC’s proposals, which provides “an opportunity to stay actively informed and engaged,” and suggests that as firms evaluate just where they fit in within a still-evolving industry, they take a look at areas that present a high risk of noncompliance to see how technology could mitigate those risks.

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Let’s Talk DI (Part 2)

Here are 5 common objections about income protection to help you talk about disability income insurance with your clients.
“We’ll use our savings.”
Relying on savings is a good approach for the short term. However, in some cases, depending on how long a disability lasts, savings could be wiped out in a few weeks or a few months. On top of your regular monthly expenses, there could also be medical bills. Disability insurance offers an affordable way to provide a source of income you can count on until you can work again.

“I have disability
through work.
Coverage through work is a great start. Typically group coverage pays 60% of your income, but don’t forget that money may be taxable. Your group policy and an individual disability policy together may provide you a more adequate monthly income amount to help you cover your bills. Let’s get details on your work coverage – when it would start, how much it would pay and for how long – and make sure you have the coverage you need.

“I’ll apply for Social
Security disability.”
This may be an option, but it’s hard to get approved. In 2017, only about 1 in 3 people who applied even received disability benefits from the government.   And they get less than $1,200 a month. If you were able to qualify, would that be enough to take care of your family? 

“I don’t think I’ll use it.”
We hope you don’t need it. But the facts are 1 in 4 of today’s 20-year-olds will become disabled before they reach age 67. Another fact – injuries account for only 9% of disabilities, most are illnesses. If you rely on your paycheck, let’s protect it with disability insurance. 

“It’s too expensive.”
Typically disability insurance costs between 1 and 3 percent of your salary, like the policy we talked about today. Where will the money come from if you’re sick or injured and unable to work? Not having disability coverage could cost you even more. For dollars a day, you’ll have the protection you need to keep your family and your lifestyle going if something happened.

Call us with your next case! 
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Get Out and Vote!

Mid-Term Election Preview Podcast
As the November 6 election nears, Tom Crawford, Senior Managing Director of Strategic Communications Segment, FTI Consulting, discusses how the results can have a long-term effect on the financial markets, taxes and planning we do for our clients. Learn how you can plan ahead and be prepared. Listen now.
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Let’s Talk About DI

Here are 5 conversation starters to help you talk about disability income insurance with your clients.
1 Every day I talk to clients about what matters to them the most – family, education, health  and adventure. Money isn’t first on the list. Yet we both understand a steady paycheck supports  those things that matter. That’s what I want to talk you about protecting. Disability insurance helps  protect your income – and the life you’ve built – if an illness or injury keeps you from working.
2 Your income helps pay for your family’s basic needs and the fun little extras. What would  happen if your paycheck stopped? It’s a lot to think about. What if your paycheck stopped  because an illness or injury kept you from working? That’s even more to think through. Disability insurance can help protect your income and keep your life, and your finances, on track.
3 You protect your car, your home and other things you value with insurance. They’re  important to you, so you want to be able to replace them if something happens. Think about your  income the same way. If an injury or illness keeps you from working – and earning a paycheck – disability insurance can help replace the income you and your family depend on.
4 Money helps support the people we care about. It can help pay for your child’s education, pay  for a family vacation, and one day, help you enjoy retirement. If your paycheck stops, your lifestyle  and your goals may get put on hold. Disability insurance can help protect the life you’ve built and  your dreams for the future.
5 If you couldn’t work because of an illness or injury, what would happen? For many families,  if paychecks stop so does the ability to pay bills. When you should be recovering, you might be  thinking about how you’ll make ends meet. I’d like to talk to you about a source of income you can  count on– it’s called disability income protection.


Call us with your next case!

800-338-1892 x 1


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Another Advantage of Traditional LTCi

We all know a traditional Long Term Care policy can help with long-term care expenses. But, did you know it can give your clients tax advantages too?

Current tax laws allow your clients to deduct either the actual or eligible premium paid for a tax-qualified LTCi policy. The eligible premium is determined by the Consumer Price Index and the age of the policyholder.

And, since most Long Term Care policies are tax-qualified, benefits paid are intended to be tax-free as long as they do not exceed the greater of:

  • Qualified LTC daily expenses
  • The per-day limitation which is set each year by the Internal Revenue Code

We have a new agent tax guide that is available now that gives detailed information on this unique advantage of our traditional policy.  You can download immediately here or call us at ISN Network 800-338-1892 x 1


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Why Get Life Insurance?

Learn about the benefits of having life insurance

Although the benefit of protection may seem obvious, many people don’t fully realize why they should have life insurance and the protection it can provide until they’re presented with the facts. While each person’s situation is different, below are some answers to common questions that you may have as you’re considering life insurance.


Life insurance should be an essential part of every person’s life plan. When you die, it provides income to your beneficiaries – and, this income is not subject to federal income tax. It may provide the needed funds to pay off your personal debt so that your loved ones aren’t burdened with additional financial obligations. Finally, it’s beneficial for your family in case you die unexpectedly.

You should base the amount of life insurance you might need on you and your family’s current financial needs. How much current financial obligation do you have? How much do you want to protect them in case of your death?

To start, consider:

  • Immediate financial obligations once you die – final medical expenses, funeral costs, and estate taxes.
  • Funds to cover life adjustments for survivors – previous debt, cost and time of job search and/or possible relocation.
  • Ongoing expenses – monthly bills, rent, mortgage, school tuition, daycare, medication, day-to-day basics and retirement needs for your loved ones.

Evaluating these items should help you gauge the amount of coverage you need. An often-used general guideline is that your life insurance should cover five to seven times your annual income. It’s a good idea to review your needs on a regular basis so if you need to make adjustments, your policy can be reviewed accordingly.

The “best time” to buy life insurance is different for everyone. Once you think you have people you want to protect, or significant debt that you want to avoid burdening them with, you should consider some type of life insurance. Although, it’s never too early to plan for the unexpected!

Depending on the type of policy you choose, it may be a good way to contribute toward a fund you can borrow from later. When you do consider life insurance, your current needs will likely help you decide what type of plan you should choose.

It depends on what the illness or medical condition is. Today, it’s often likely that illnesses and conditions may be controlled with treatment, prescriptions and diet. Any good life insurance company will take these factors into consideration. A member of our team can talk with you about your situation to determine what type of life insurance may be right for you.

We offer a variety of products that all have their own separate maximum ages to purchase. Typically, you can purchase life insurance up until your 89th birthday.

The policy owner is the person who owns the insurance policy. The insured is the person whose life is insured. In some cases, the policy owner and the insured may be the same person, or different people (for example, the policy owner could be a parent, while the insured could be a child.)

The beneficiary is the person or other party designated to receive the money from the life insurance policy when the insured dies.

A rider is an additional benefit to an insurance policy that becomes part of the insurance contract and either expands or limits the benefits. These options help make your policy more specific to your insurance needs.

Not all life insurance requires a medical exam to qualify for coverage. Your need for a medical exam will vary based on the type of insurance you’ve applied for, your age, and the face amount of the policy. If a medical exam is required, the insurance company will cover all expenses incurred in the exam and will provide all necessary documentation.

That is where we come in. Let us take a look at your situation and make recommendation. You will be glad you did!

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Loan Based Split Dollar- Check it Out

What is Loan-Based Split Dollar?

In loan-based split dollar, the corporation pays the premiums on a policy owned by the business owner or key person (the “insured”). Generally, this would be treated as a distribution from the corporation and income taxable. However, in this case the premiums payments are structured as individual loans from the corporation to the insured/policy owner that are collateralized by the cash value and death benefit of the life insurance policy. The principal of the loan is payable at the end of the loan period, with the insured being responsible only for payment of loan interest on an annual basis. If loan interest is not paid, it is treated as taxable distribution to the insured.

How Does Loan-Based Split Dollar Work?

Corporate funds are loaned to the insured to purchase a life insurance policy, and are not income taxable to the insured/owner at this point. If a cash value permanent life insurance policy is purchased, there is the possibility to accumulate cash values on a tax deferred basis. At some point, when cash values have accumulated safely beyond the outstanding principal of the loan (generally, premiums paid), funds can be taken out of the life policy on a tax advantaged basis to pay back the loan. The resulting policy, along with tax deferred cash value, will be owned free and clear by the insured. The policy cash values – net of loaned amounts used to repay split dollar loan – can then be borrowed out of the policy income tax free (as long as the policy remains in force) as needed.

Interested in learning more about loan-based split dollar ? ISN Network is here to help! For further training, review or illustration support, please contact ISN at 1.800.338.1892, Option 1 or email us at


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