This December, we’re taking the opportunity to reflect back upon the past year – and what a year it has been.
At the forefront of the conversation has been the passage of the Tax Cuts & Jobs Act (TCJA) at the tail end of 2017. The TCJA promised sweeping reform across the insurance industry, both domestically and abroad. From the onset of the new year, we followed this legislation closely with an eye toward the impact it might have on the life insurance industry.
In April, we tackled the question of whether existing life insurance policies should be dropped in light of the new tax law. Although massive reform has introduced changes that greatly affect the status of generational wealth among high-net worth individuals, the future of the estate tax environment remains uncertain. While the new exemptions may stand to combat many of the estate issues that clients sought to solve with the purchase of permanent policies in the past, retaining flexibility in estate planning is still of the utmost importance.
You can read the full article here: In Light of New Tax Law, Should Existing Policies be Dropped?
While the course of 2018 led us to advising against dropping existing life insurance policies because of the temporary increase in estate tax exemption, we would be remiss not to highlight the importance of reviewing existing policies. Even for estates not subject to taxation, life insurance is uniquely suited to handle many nontax issues frequently encountered in estate planning.
You can read the full article here: 7 Strategies for Repurposing Life Insurance
Estate tax was not the only area in the path of the TCJA. Pass-through business entities also stood to face change due to the qualified business income deduction (QBI). Under the new legislation, business owners were presented with the possibility of a greater deduction, and varying possibilities when it comes to business life insurance structures. In fact, our own Terri Getman spoke about planning amidst tax reform during one of our wildly popular Focus on Success meetings.
You can read the full article here: Post-Tax Reform Business Planning: Pass-Through Business Entities
Amidst this shifting landscape, we also visited the role of life insurance in retirement planning over the course of the year. Many financial advisors assume that with proper planning, there is no need for life insurance in a retirement portfolio. However, the evolving tax climate paired with the behavior of various assets means that in reality, life insurance today boasts features which can more effectively facilitate the transfer of wealth than a portfolio comprised of more traditional assets alone.
You can read the full article here: It’s Time to Reconsider Owning Life Insurance for Retirement
Linked benefit products also had their time in the spotlight, as they have become an invaluable part of multiple planning strategies. The vast range of long-term care products available continued to adapt and expand throughout 2018, with major change seen industry-wide. Emerging statistics suggesting a changing financial outlook for seniors entering retirement have served only to bolster the need for long-term care inclusion. In fact, we have gone so far as to posit that failing to account for the monetary consequences of long-term care needs may actually subject financial advisors to professional liability.
You can read the full article here: The Necessity of Long-Term Care in Retirement Planning
Finally, 2018 also saw the increased focus on women’s issues across the current cultural climate. This has also culminated in special attention being given to the unique applications of life insurance in the female markets. The necessity of focusing on women’s insurance needs is especially clear when considering long-term care products. The data shows that women bear a disproportionately greater burden than men when it comes to long-term care expenses. Now more than ever, this disparity cannot afford to be ignored and financial planners must competently account for these realities moving forward.
You can read the full article here: Closing the Gender Gap: 6 Reasons Women Need Long-Term Care
2018 was a year for innovation and progress, both within the life insurance industry and beyond. DBS is proud to employ a staff of advanced case resources unparalleled in the life insurance space who diligently track the market, analyze the industry, and predict patterns and trends to come.
Terri Getman, our Advanced Marketing Attorney, can be reached at ext.230.
Our in-house underwriting department, headed by Chief Underwriter Lori-Anne Walker, can be reached at ext.202.
Our case design department, managed by Jann Varner, can be reached at ext.203.