Four Income Planning Tools

Here are brief reviews of four noteworthy but not-widely-known retirement income planning software tools, provided by the publisher of Virtual Office News and the T3 Newsletter. Mr. Bruckenstein is also a CFP.

The Alt-Asset Teams that Reinvent Annuity Companies

'Insurance Solutions' groups use private assets to boost the returns of life/annuity company investment portfolios. RIJ talks with Todd Fonner of Investcorp Insurance Solutions about this trend.

One Life Insurer’s Pivot to Private Assets

American Equity Investment Life’s ‘AEL 2.0’ strategy is designed to help it thrive even in a low yield environment. Allocating up to 40% of its money to ‘private assets’ is key to the fixed annuity specialist's plan.

NAIC Eyes ‘Bermuda Triangle’ Strategy

A document from the NAIC's Financial Stability Task Force reflects the concerns that the NAIC has heard from a variety of sources about the increased ownership of life insurers by private equity firms. (Image from NAIC document.)
Featured

Canada’s Annuity Issuers Protect their Turf

The Bank of Montreal will halt new sales of its BMO Lifetime Cash Flow, a retirement income product that Canadian insurers said worked a bit too much like a variable annuity. The Canadian finance minister agreed.
News

Consumer Reports rates 13 brokerage services

A trusted source for information on a wide array of products, Consumer Reports decided to investigate online and full-service brokerage services by polling their readers and sending mystery shoppers to brokerages. Here's how 13 services measured up.

Could “Obamacare” encourage earlier retirement?

A review of Towers Watson retirement data shows that the presence of company-subsidized health insurance for retirees encourages people to retire before age 65. Researchers wonder if elements of "Obamacare"--the PPACA--could have a similar effect.

Federal Reserve favors more predictability on rates

But “a number of members noted their dissatisfaction with the Committee's current approach for communicating its views regarding the appropriate path for monetary policy,” said the minutes of the Dec. 13 FOMC meeting, published this week.

Uncle Sam publishes annual financial report

For those who like diving into economic statistics, even the 16-page summary of the 2011 Financial Report of the U.S. Government provides an ample pool of data.

The Bucket

Brief and late-breaking items from LPL Financial, the Insured Retirement Institute, MassMutual, Great-West Retirement Services, Securian and Allianz Life.